Rebecca Rusch Rides Kilimanjaro
Personal hero and all around badass Rebecca Rusch stays busy breaking world records, racking up podiums and going on epic adventures. I was lucky enough to interview her in New York for PDF, and it has been great just keeping up with her on social media. Her latest accomplishment is nothing short of amazing, and it was all done to support one of our favorite organizations, World Bicycle Relief.
The past March, seven-time world champion, author and volunteer firefighter, Rebecca Rusch, and adventurer, Patrick Sweeney, summited Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, to raise funds and awareness for the nonprofit organization, World Bicycle Relief. Rusch and Sweeney rode, carried and pushed their bikes to the summit at 19,341 feet, then braved the journey back down, with the goal to ultimately raise one dollar for every foot of elevation, equaling 131 new bikes for students in Africa.
Alongside local porters and a guide, it took the duo 6 days to complete the round trip journey. At 19,341 ft., Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa and one of the world’s Seven Summits. Due to its massive elevation gain of 13,238 ft. from the base to the summit, the team moved at a slower pace to allow their bodies to acclimatize to the extreme altitude. Over 35,000 people attempt Kilimanjaro each year and the success rate is only 45%. Just a handful of athletes have completed the route by bicycle. And of those athletes, Rebecca is the only woman.
Professional athlete and world-champion, Rebecca Rusch has been working with World Bicycle Relief since 2013, to provide bicycles for individuals in Africa to access critical resources like education, healthcare and economic opportunities. “I love a monumental challenge like this, and it’s even more meaningful if our adventure can help change the world,” said Rusch.
Rusch rode a Niner JET 9 RDO with components, wheels and tire upgrades chosen specifically for this endeavor. Rusch’s bike used on this adventure was auctioned and the proceeds benefitted World Bicycle Relief. Built for trail, the JET has an emphasis on weight and efficiency with speed inspired geometry, and was the perfect “do-anything” bike - super light for the strenuous uphill and capable for the varied, technical descent. While we might not be summiting Kilimanjaro any time soon, we bet a set up like this would be incredible to ride. Its still possible to support Rebecca and Patrick’s efforts here,
Watch the stunning film of that captures the entire adventure :