Team Rwanda, the first-ever national Rwandan cycling team, is the result of Project Rwanda, a philanthropic initiative that Pacific Cycle and Schwinn also support. Project Rwanda is committed to furthering the economic development of Rwanda through initiatives based on the bicycle as a tool and symbol of hope. Team Rwandaï¿½s inaugural U.S. race is the upcoming Tour of the Gila in New Mexico.
Pacific Cycle President and CEO, Jeff Frehner, is on Project Rwandaï¿½s Board of Directors.
ï¿½Iï¿½m very pleased to provide Schwinn road race bikes to Team Rwanda,ï¿½ said Frehner. ï¿½Team Rwanda embodies the spirit of Project Rwanda, and I believe the team will surprise the cycling world with their talent, drive and passion for the sport. Just getting the team to the U.S. is an incredible feat unto itself. Pacific Cycle has been involved with Project Rwanda for some time now, and we are pleased to see our efforts with the Coffee Bike paying off, as the bike is bringing much-needed awareness, utilities and resulting opportunities to the Rwandan people.ï¿½
Schwinn product developer, Tom Mount, was instrumental in developing and sourcing the Coffee Bike, a bicycle designed to help Rwandan coffee farmers enter the lucrative specialty coffee market. Schwinn has also donated several mountain bikes to Project Rwanda, enabling several Rwandan bicyclists to participate in the first annual Wooden Bike Classic on September 16, 2006. Visit http://www.projectrwanda.org for more information about all of Project Rwandaï¿½s initiatives.
Team Rwandaï¿½s five riders will make Silver City, New Mexico, their first stop in their first-ever visit to American soil. There they will start a five-day stage race, the ï¿½Tour of the Gila,ï¿½ May 3-6, and will compete in other American races during their stay in the states. They return home to race the Tour of Rwanda on June 19th, and later the African Games.