The Bike Club: Ruben's Story

Posted on
11th Nov 2016
by Clare Sulley

Ride: Africa is nearly here! In only 1 week, our 60 riders will begin their 500km cycling journey across Ghana to raise an overwhelming amount of money to fund projects.

At the end of Ride: Africa, our riders will be visiting The Bike Club, run by one of’s partners; Shape Lives Foundation. They will have the opportunity to meet the staff who work for the project maintaining the bikes, along with some of the service users whose lives have changed since purchasing a bike.

Meet Ruben

Ruben is 21 years old and is in his second year at Secondary School in Ghana. Ruben purchased a bike from the project to enable him to get to school and work. His journey from home to school was around a 40-minute walk. Now that he has a fully functioning bike, it only takes him 15 minutes.

Ruben purchased his bike for 120 cedis; around £24. When he bought the bike two months ago, he paid half the money upfront. He is currently paying the rest of the money in instalments to the Bike Club. To earn the money to pay for his bike, Ruben has been working for local farmers weeding their farms in the evenings and on the weekends.

The bike has benefited Ruben in many ways. Getting to work earlier in the evenings allows Ruben to finish earlier and go home to spend time with his family and friends or doing homework. Before he purchased the bike, whilst weeding, he cut his leg with one of the tools he uses. Since getting the bicycle a month later, the wound has healed quickly as a result of him not having to walk long distances:

“Before I got the bicycle, I walked a lot and had a leg problem, so when I got the bicycle, it lost a lot of challenges for me. It’s helped me move fast - wherever I am going, I'll get there shortly.”

Ruben has had many bikes in the past, but he says that this one is the best value and the highest quality:

“I bought a lot of bicycles before, but this one, I can say is the only cheap price and is the only one to help me and is good.”

One of the advantages of the Bike Club is that beneficiaries like Ruben can take their bike to the centre to get it repaired at any point. Ruben told us: “If there is a problem with my bicycle, they repair it here before I can get home. And after that, I had a problem with the bicycle, I brought it back and they prepared it for me without taking money from me”.

Since purchasing a bike from the Bike Club, Ruben’s quality of life has improved and he says: “I’m happy with my bicycle, I’m so happy. It encourages me that I should keep the bicycle good.”

At the end of the ride, our riders will be donating their bikes to the Bike Club. By increasing the number of bikes available, we are helping to sustain the programme to help provide more high-quality bikes for people, like Ruben, to purchase and improve their quality of life.

If you want to donate to the efforts of our incredible riders and increase their fundraising amount which will go towards’s projects, click here to go to their fundraising pages.