(Thursday, July 24, 2008)
Bicycles are a alternative choice in industrialized countries, but can be the backbone transportation system for a developing economy. Rwanda is a great example of how the introduction of bicycles can improve productivity and quality of life.
Portand coffee house Stumptown sponsored the delivery of 400 cargo bikes to Karaba, a free-trade co-op located in the so-called "Land of a Thousand Hills." Until the arrival of these bikes, transportation of coffee beans down the slopes made for great Nat-Geo cover photos: women were carrying baskets on their heads. Adding bikes to the mix greatly increased the speed and efficiency of coffee bean deliveries, improving safety for the workers and opening-up new opportunities for the co-op.
For more info on the project, check-out Stumptown's Bikes to Rwanda website, and the Good Magazine article behind this video.