January 30, 2006 – The Kona Bicycle Company, has embarked upon what could be the most important bicycle the company has ever developed: 200 bikes designed specifically to assist health care workers treating HIV and AIDS in Africa.
In partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Bicycling Magazine’s Bike Town Africa, Kona is developing the AfricaBike for workers delivering home health aids and services to patients in two Botswana cities, Bobonong and the capital city of Gaborone.
Shimano Canada recently became a partner in the project by donating the coaster brake hubs that are to be used on the AfricaBike, slated for completion in late March, 2006.
Bill Scullion of Shimano Canada’s cycling division had the opportunity to meet with Paddy White and Dan Gerhard of Kona at their Washington State office where he was introduced to the AfricaBike concept. “It was brought to my attention during a casual conversation after I asked about the intentions for a frame I had seen in their office,” states Scullion. “The project struck me as being very different. It was not the typical “˜let’s get more people riding bikes’ project, but rather a very humanitarian opportunity where we can instantly see our efforts having a positive impact by providing those caregivers with a “vehicle” we hope will make their jobs just a little easier, and enable them to deliver the necessary assistance to those who are truly in need”.
For more information on the AfricaBike and the work of The Kona Bicycle Company, visit www.konabiketown.com.
To reach Bill Scullion for further comment, contact Mike Melnik at Impact Communications at 888-296-8978.