This is one of those moments where all the hard work put in by organisers really pays off. It’s the glory moment, the moment to sit-back and celebrate when we’ve done something that really makes a difference on the ground. Organisers in Nauru have just unpacked the load of bikes we collected in Australia and shipped to them. Here’s the wonderful update Ann Hubert, the 350.org Nauru coordinator, just sent us:

“Its been crazy..I am been hounded 24/7 since we opened the Container!! haha..We assembled 53 adult bicycles and 17 children bicycles..children bikes we gave out on saturday to the children who were on site, dazzled by the heaps of bikes!! The rest we gave out to the men – fathers who helped unpack the container and assemble the bikes..but the youth size bicycles are stored at my place…they are being borrowed, returned, borrowed non stop!!..And yesterday we had to impose rules on them because most skipped school and instead rode bicycles from dawn to dusk!! New rule: no bikes until after school hours..!!haha The spare parts were really handy..a few dozen bicycles missing a tyre or peddles came back to life thanks to the spare parts that came with the cargo!!.. This coming Saturday we’re organizing another mass bike ride to promote the bicycles!!!”

Here’s the story of how it all happened – and how 100+ bikes got to Nauru for just $1000:

During the 350 Pacific Climate Leadership Workshop in Fiji in June, Ann Hubert, the 350.org Nauru coordinator, said “we can’t do a big bike rally for Moving Planet in Nauru because there aren’t enough bikes on the island!”. In that moment I realised we had to find a way to get bikes to Nauru so they could rally around the island for Moving Planet, on September 24th. There’s only one boat a month to Nauru, leaving from Brisbane, Australia, but I live in Wellington, New Zealand – so we had our work cut out. Thankfully Ann had contacts at the shipyard, and I had contacts with a few organisers in Australia. 

It wasn’t  long before we had a remarkable team of volunteers: Kimberly, James, Benny, Blair and a partner organisation in the form of Mark & Jenny from Goodwill Bicycles Australia. Between them they collected about 130 bikes (in various conditions), and drove a truck full of them from Sydney to Brisbane. There were a few communication issues with the shipyard – and the bikes missed the boat first time around, and therefore missed getting there in time for Moving Planet. However, thanks to the great support of the shipping company, CargoTransport, Ronphos and Rehab, we were able to get the bikes added into other shipping containers – all for no cost – and they got onto the next boat.  

So even though there were a few hiccoughs along the way, thanks to the focused effort and dedication of a few, we have been able to provide people powered mobililty to hundreds in Nauru – and the only cost to us was the hiring of the rental truck. It’s more of this ingenuity, perseverance and solution finding that we need to be calling on as we transform our communities and world away from fossil fuels and toward renewable and people powered energy. Thanks to everyone who made this possible!

Here’s some more photos from the unpacking:

 

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