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By Patrick Broadwater
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Muyambi Muyambi '12 founded Bicycles Against Poverty (BAP) in 2008 while an undergrad at Bucknell. What better way to celebrate his graduation than to take a month-long coast-to-coast bike ride in his biggest fundraising event to date?
"Given what I've been doing for the longest time, it seems appropriate in a way," said Muyambi, a civil and environmental engineering major from Uganda. "It started with me being obnoxious and annoying to my friends. But the fact is that we, as an organization, need to go beyond what we've been achieving. To do that, you need a lot of people on your side. A lot of donors and people who know the good work you're doing and how it affects people."
Muyambi and two other Bucknellians are planning to spread the word as they traverse the U.S. beginning Aug. 5, with a planned route of more than 2,000 miles (approximately four times the width of Uganda). The team hopes to attract eyeballs to the organization's cause and enough money to buy 1,000 bicycles which they will supply at a low cost to families in war-torn northern Uganda. Bicycles are particularly vital in those areas, providing riders inexpensive access to distant hospitals, communities and markets.
Dean A. Snook of Lewisburg will join Muyambi in Los Angeles at the start and pedal alongside him for the duration of the trip. Molly Burke '10, a full-time BAP staff member, will drive a support van provided by Frank Arentowicz '69, who was part of a group of five Bucknell cyclists who raised more than $1 million for scholarships by riding from coast to coast in 2007. Along the way, the BAP team will meet with church groups, Rotary clubs and local cyclists to gain more exposure for the nonprofit organization and build on a donor base that has helped supply more than 300 bikes in the past three years.
"We want to raise a lot of money," Muyambi said. "We truly believe in the cause that we have begun and we want to tell people about the lasting impact they can make in the area that I come from. There's no amount of money that we can raise that they won't be able to handle."
Muyambi and his team plan to cover 65-75 miles per day on the trip, though they may make adjustments on the fly based on opportunities to meet up with Bucknell alumni. To meet up with the team or learn more about BAP, follow Muyambi's travel blog at www.BAPcoast2coast.com.
Contact: Division of Communications