In 2010, a group of individuals, united in passion and purpose, embarked on a 400-mile adventure challenge that had never been done before. We biked from the base of Kilimanjaro to the Indian Ocean over the course of ten days to raise funds and awareness for The Foundation For Tomorrow’s work. Five RIDETZ trips later, here are some thoughts from our riders!
TFFT provides riders with an understanding into the educational landscape that the TFFT scholars are a part of. While the complexities of the global learning crisis are multifaceted and take longer than ten days to understand, RIDETZ does offer insight into some of the challenges that surround education in Tanzania. Riders visit partner schools and orphanages and speak first hand with school leaders and management. Riders learn about the barriers to the equitable access of education and have the opportunity to understand the challenges that vulnerability poses for our scholars. RIDETZ provides a lens through which to truly comprehend the necessity of our work. RIDETZ shows riders the society that these students will contribute to when they graduate from our program, and offers a brief glimpse into the needs in society that these students are a part of. This helps each rider comprehend in real terms why TFFT’s work is critical.
When speaking to previous RIDETZ riders about what this experience means to them, many similar themes recurred. RIDETZ ties supporters to the Foundation in a completely unique way by creating ownership in our mission. RIDETZ allows you to truly go all the way with TFFT, and I don’t mean just the 400 miles of the ride! The ride is a shared common experience and creates an entirely unique bond with people who go from strangers to friends in the course of ten days. Riders experience a whole new connection with other TFFT supporters, strengthening the TFFT network immensely. As we approach RIDETZ 2020, some of our previous riders reflected on their previous RIDETZ adventures!
Kelly McCrystal participated in the inaugural 2010 RIDETZ. Her experience highlights the tremendous impact that TFFT has not only on our community in Tanzania, but on our riders and supporters. Kelly recently wrote about how RIDETZ led her to what is now her current career: “The TFFT ride changed the trajectory of my life. I went to Tanzania with a vague desire to pursue a purpose-driven career and came back with a clear-eyed goal of doing precisely that, and in Africa.” RIDETZ influenced a lot of our pathways in different ways.
Jennifer Combs (RIDETZ, 2010)
Macon Bianucci (RIDETZ, 2010)
Candice Smith (RIDETZ, 2018)
This 400 mile adventure undoubtedly strengthens our riders physically. But RIDETZ also creates long lasting friendships between members of our TFFT community and strengthens their understanding of and commitment to our work in Tanzania. We are so grateful for the action and engagement that RIDETZ has spurred amongst our supporters.
Lexi Bohonnan (RIDETZ, 2016)
RIDETZ allows the opportunity for riders to be full engaged in the Tanzanian landscape and the surrounding conditions. The adventure requires hard work and dedication, both emotionally and physically. Our riders get through each and every day by maintaining a singular focus on the task at hand and by taking the time to understand how their work fits into the bigger picture, and our mission as a whole.
Henri Bianucci (RIDETZ, 2016)
We invest in our scholars so they are able to lead productive lives and are prepared to work within their communities to address challenges that face their nation. RIDETZ helps us share the country of Tanzania and the importance of this investment with our TFFT supporters in a unique way. RIDETZ creates unparalleled investment in our mission.
Richard Augustino (RIDETZ, 2010)
Richard was selected to participate as the student rider in our inaugural 2010 ride because of his remarkable academic performance. As soon as the ride began, Richard took the lead and provided a source of constant motivation for the rest of Team TFFT. Nine years later, as a college student at Seattle University, Richard still embraces every challenge he encounters in order to accomplish his goals!
Abby Lee (pictured right, RIDETZ 2016)
About her decision to [articipate in RIDETZ, Abby explained, “I realized that there was never going to be a perfect time to take ten days out of your life to cycle across Tanzania, but this organization is incredible and this is a once in a lifetime experience.”
Elizabeth Souder (RIDETZ, 2016)
Elizabeth rode with us in 2016. She shared her why she was compelled to do RIDETZ in support of TFFT's work, “The Foundation For Tomorrow works day in and day out to provide equal access to education and opportunities for some of the most vulnerable children in Tanzania. RIDETZ was an unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience that opened my eyes to this beautiful country and important work of this organization. Since returning from the trip, my life has felt the revolving impact each and every day.”
Ali Samadi (RIDETZ, 2010)
"#TBT to exactly 9 years ago today as we finished the bike ride of a lifetime! From the foothills of Kilimanjaro, we rode for 10 days and over 400 miles via roads and dirtpaths—and whatever that sand nonsense was that one day—until finally arriving at the Indian Ocean. It was in the morning 9 years ago today that @dboehmer222 @coughlin6723 TFFT student rider @richard_augustino and I raced the final leg to be the first group to the ocean, riding our bikes onto the beach and heading straight into the water, after we promised to not to let go of our young new friend given this was his first trip into an ocean and given his then inability to swim. It was in the afternoon 9 years ago today that we collectively exhaled when we got word that @lmulhubbell was done showing off by riding an additional 10 miles solo past the resort entrance and was now ready to join the party. The maiden RideTZ voyage ended 9 years ago today; the new friendships and the memories live on forever. Through mostly luck and serendipity, I’ve somehow managed to find myself in Tanzania for the start of every successive RideTZ since that inaugural journey in 2010, a streak that I intend on extending next July for the 10 year anniversary ride! Hope to see you there!"
Katie Caniglia (RIDETZ 2014, 2016, 2018)
“If ever an experience bonded me to a place and its people...it was RIDETZ. From the first time I left to come home, part of me remained there and that's probably why I continued to return. I've had the privilege of sharing this experience with three distinct groups in 2014, 2016 and 2018. The dynamics, landscape, people and circumstances were unique each time. I cannot imagine my life without these adventures, every moment and each person. It was too good to be "once in a lifetime"."
RIDETZ is a truly incredible experience that has a tremendous impact on our riders. If you are interested in being a part of this experience and journey, please consider signing up for RIDETZ 2020! You're in for a wonderful and wild ride!