Geared Up for Advocacy: Portal Bikes

As you may recall from previous years' write-ups from Interbike, I always make an effort to visit with the advocacy and philanthropic groups - those who use the bicycle to improve the lives of others. A relatively new organization I discovered this year is Portal Bikes.

Organizations have used the humble bicycle to empower people in all corners of the world. Best known, perhaps, have been the efforts taking place in Africa. Others operate in Eastern Europe and Asia. Portal bikes is one of the latter, focusing specifically on the country of Nepal. Portal bikes are used to create opportunity and combat poverty. They are used for the transportation of people and goods, as you might expect, but they go a step further with the addition of a rotating shaft built into the rear of the elongated cargo frame. This shaft, what they call a bicycle Power Take Off (PTO) provides a connection point for various machinery, and has been used to pump water, grind grain, generate electricity, and even wash clothes. The application potential goes even wider; if a machine has rotating parts, it can likely be connected to the PTO.

Portal Bikes are manufactured in Nepal and used by the Nepalese people in their everyday lives, providing real change for individuals and their communities. For more information, check the Portal Bikes website, and like their Facebook page. If you are able, consider a contribution to their mission and efforts.