Bike trip to help poor, hungry of the world

Three students from the University of Colorado Boulder have created a cross country bike ride called the Yes Ride in order to fight against world poverty as well as other problems in the world.

Chris Markl, Kelley Sikes and Eamon Aloyo started thinking of the idea last October and now, just six months later, have the whole trip organized in detail and plan to make this an annual event.

In addition to the Yes Ride, the three students also created a non-profit organization called twenty-fifteen unlimited. The meaning behind the title is that by the year 2015 they will do anything possible to reduce poverty by half, according to Chris Markl, but for now the group is concentrating on the cross country bike ride.

“We are all political science students and one night we were just sitting around studying and we wanted to know what we could do to make an impact on people’s lives and the idea of a cross country bike ride came up,” Markl said. “We really believe that this event should change people’s lives.”

“We talked about the solutions for poverty,” he said, “not the problems.”

In order to participate in the Yes Ride, each rider has to raise $4,000 on their own. However if riders only plan to ride for some of the trip, exceptions would be made. The trip starts in Seattle, Wash., on June 1 and will end on July 27 in Boston, Mass.

“We will be staying at schools and churches along the route and we will be talking to camp kids as well as other organizations to raise awareness,” Markl said. “We want to inspire people so they can create the next big thing. This ride isn’t just about raising funds; We want to change the world.”

So far the Yes Ride has fourteen bikers signed up for the whole entire route and more are signing up for just parts of the route.

The group is trying to raise money for five beneficiaries, according to Kelley Sikes. The first beneficiary will be Partners in Health, which is an organization that provides first-world health care in the third world. The second is Heifer International, which is a non-profit organization whose goal is to help end world hunger and poverty. The third beneficiary is International Peace Initiative, based in Kenya, and they provide scholarships for mostly girls to go to secondary schools. The fourth includes Circles of Ten, which provide empowerment of woman through small groups of 10 and spread that throughout the country. The fifth beneficiary is Emory Vaccine Center in Atlanta, Ga., which is helping to find cures for AIDS and malaria.

Sikes knows that this ride is not going to be easy, but she is also aware of the fact that people in other countries don’t have anything come easy to them.

“Basically, when we had the idea for this I knew it would be an event that would change my life personally,” Sikes said. “In the meantime, we would be helping other people who really need our help.”

She knows that many challenges await them on this trip.

“It is going to be extremely challenging; we are crossing over three Mountain ranges,” she said. “Also, just the fact that we will be living life on the road for two months is going to be challenging.”

Markl wants riders to know that if anyone is interested in participating to go to their Web site,, and contact them to let them know and not to be intimidated by the amount of money they would need to produce.

“We believe that part of the reason of making the fundraising so high is because this event is going to change lives and people won’t think we will be able to raise this much money,” Markl said. “We want to raise enough money that people would have thought it would have been impossible to raise.”