Cycling has proven to be a wonderful sport to raise money for charity, it is easy to get started on a bike but you can set the bar high to reach new heights. The new Mountain Rush platform helps bike riders (and runners) raise money for the World Bicycle Relief which has the focus of supplying bicycles to people and communities in developing nations and delivering life-changing mobility.
The premise of Mountain Rush is simple, sign-in and connect up to Strava (it takes less than a minute) and then start your challenge by choosing a mountain summit to conquer. Instead of distance, it is your altitude that counts and your real elevation gains when you ride are mapped against a virtual summit such as Mont Blanc.
The indoor trainer won’t be of much use (unless you have one of those fancy hill-climbing models) as you need to ascend, each meter is tracked automatically through Strava and plotted inside Mountain Rush. This means you can plan a longer time frame to reach the summit. The advantage is that over the time everyone following you and supporting your challenge can also see your progress. With 3D mapping and routing, it is more interesting than just charts or plots plus Mountain Rush allows you to upload photos and messages. For groups there is also the ability to start group challenges to compete with others.
The hurdle to get started is low, it connects with Strava easily and the rest is automated. When you provide permission for your Stava data to be used, it automatically reflects any updates so you can simply use Strava and the rest is done. As a fundraising platform there minimal effort… except for climbing those hills. But it a compelling format, especially for supporters who can see the tangible efforts. Like any charity endeavour, the hurdle will still be promoting this fundraising effort and gaining support of family, friends and colleagues.
In Australia where charity bike rides for cancer, illnesses and depression are common (and of course are very worthy), there are fewer bike charity endeavours with a focus beyond the Australian shores. Mobility in developing nations is the focus of the World Bicycle Relief and this non-profit organisation has the broader support of the cycling industry. In the past decade, 400,000 bicycles have been supplied to people for measurable life-changing improvements such as enabling children in remote locations to travel to school or allowing health workers (who would otherwise walk) reach patients further afield.
The bicycles have been specially designed to be robust but are easy to maintain. Supplying a single bike costs $195 (AUD) which is a nice goal to get started.
Riders in flat locations will find it harder to reach the 3,950m virtual summit of Mont Blanc though adjusting the time period provides the scope to create a challenge that can be met. Similarly, riders in mountainous regions can shorten the duration of the campaign, 3,950m in a day is painful… but possible.
Missing from Mountain Rush are the legendary cycling climbs such as Mont Ventoux, Alpe d’Huez, the Stelvio or even Mount Everest following the popularity of Everesting. Mountain Rush note that when they see enough interest from cyclists, more summits can be added.
For further details and to start your own Mountain Rush challenge and raise money for World Bicycle Relief, visit: mountainrush.co.uk