Thursday, March 15, 2012

Project OPTUMiZ

I'd like to introduce to you the project I've been thinking about and working on for quite some time now. For several years now, the Kelly Benefit Strategies team and now Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies has been partnering with World Bicycle Relief with the aim of raising money and awareness for this grassroots organization. This year each team member has their own personal fund raising page to see what we can accomplish off the bike as a team. I've mentioned on this blog before why I believe WBR is such a cool and effective non-profit (and why buying a WBR bike makes a good gift). It successfully and efficiently puts bikes in the hands of those who need them most in Africa. In addition, they train locals in the area to be skilled mechanics so that people can have a working means of transport for years. And just to be clear, these aren't racing bicycles with carbon wheels - these are 35 lb tanks that can carry up to 200kg loads over roads in terrible condition. These bicycles can help kids get to school on time 8km away after getting their chores done. Or maybe they can help someone start a business of selling goods at the market 10km away. Anyway, I love the idea of bikes making the world a better place and I think WBR best puts that idea into practice.
Sooooooooo, with that in mind, I've taken some ridiculous steps to bring attention to myself and the team's fund raising efforts. I introduce you to:
O - Ostentatious
P - Perm
T - To
U - Uplift
M - Mobility
i - in
Z - Zambia

And when I said I've 'been working on this for some time', I meant that I've been growing out my hair for months now. A big thank you to my neighbor Sarah who also happens to be a kick-ass hair stylist!
My goal is to raise money for 20 bikes by Stage 5 of the Tour of California, so we've got just over 2 months to make some waves...or tight curls. I've gotten it started by donating the first bike. I'm not asking people to donate complete bikes but $10-20 would be awesome and shouldn't hurt the pocketbook too much. Please don't make it so that I've gotten this perm in vain. Imagine me walking around the grocery store or sitting in a coffee shop looking ridiculous to those who don't know about our cause. Let pity fill your heart and open your wallet... :-)
Thanks for reading and for supporting our efforts!
Here is the fundraising page where you can make a secure donation:


Anonymous said...

Great interview on tourchat but the jury is still out on the hair. We in Iowa are all excited to be able to see "Harpo" Zirbel back racing.

Don H.

Anonymous said...

Love the hair, and yes... fun interview. Good luck with "Project OPTUMiZ" I'll try to give you a high five or "push" up Mt. Diablo in May! Keep racing with heart.

Anonymous said...

I'm getting used to the hair. :-)

Thanks for the opportunity to donate to a wonderful charity.


otis said...

Can you convert the units in your description over to the English system? Kg and Km are hard for me to wrap my head around! Good work Z....if you had my genetics you wouldn't even need a hair stylist.

Anonymous said...

Great to see riders continue to publicise this great charity. Bikes can really make a difference in a place like zambia where access to any transport is very hard. Hope the hair gets plenty of dollars

Anonymous said...

David, Suzanne & Eric Moore made a donation to a great cause, and with the hope that the Perm will hit the road soon.
Best at Redlands.

Rebecca Much said...


This is one of our favorite World Bicycle Relief fundraisers of all time. Thank you so much for your creativity and willingness to donate your hair (style)!

Rebecca Much
World Bicycle Relief