Local teenager gets closer to goal of buying 1,000 bikes | Health, medicine and fitness
At the same time as the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon was taking place on Saturday morning, a half marathon of a different kind was taking place. Tsering Hauenstein, a ninth grade student at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, took dozens of people on a 13 mile bike ride to raise money for a global cause.
Saturday was the second year that Hauenstein and his mother, Kristi Hundt, organized the “1000 Bikes Campaign,” a cycling event organized by Lotus Outreach International, which raises funds to buy bicycles for young girls in rural areas of the Cambodia who must otherwise walk worryingly. distance to and from school.
For every $ 75 raised by Hauenstein, the non-profit organization offers a bicycle scholarship that includes a bicycle, pump, lock and tools, ensuring a girl has safe transportation to get a proper education. Last year, the ambitious high school student raised enough money to buy 100 bikes.
“I think we’ve really taken it to another level this year,” said the teenager’s mother, adding that the number of people who participated had doubled from last year.
She said that even though they didn’t reach their goal of $ 7,500 like they did at their inaugural event, they are more than halfway there and still accepting donations.
Hauenstein, 14, credits stepping out into the community as the reason for a busier event this year. “I think it was amazing,” she said emphatically. “We’ve had a lot more people this year. Everything went according to plan.”
Hundt, bursting with pride, said of her daughter: “She gave two PowerPoint presentations before the event, one at Dunn Middle School. I am very impressed with her.”
Greeted on a warm and sunny morning, a group of 21 runners gathered at the free launch site, Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
Here, Hundt says Corey Evans, owner and operator of Dr. J’s Bicylce Shop in Solvang, had several boxes of donuts and water for all riders, and two professional bicycle riders and two SAGs (Support and Gears) waiting in backstage, ready to support the runners.
Half of the attendees were from Dunn, according to the high school student, and members of the Santa Ynez Valley Cycling Club also showed up on their bikes to show their support.
Hauenstein’s mother explained that there were two routes available to participants and the majority opted for the more difficult 13-mile route that took them north on Refugio, west on Roblar Road, south on Alamo Pintado Road. , and return to Refugio via the dedicated bike path that runs along route 246.
“An 11-year-old boy named Devon completed the 13 miles,” Hauenstein said, adding she was impressed with his endurance.
A few runners opted for the beginner course which took them six miles round trip, starting south on Refugio Road to the end of the curb and back.
Hauenstein explained that cycling guru Evans and his support team were there to guide riders on the road and stay with others who needed an extra boost.
Proud mom says a longer route compared to last year’s shorter route has proven to be a winner, and they’ll likely be for those who like to cycle longer distances to collect more money.
Although he has yet to reach his full fundraising goal, Hundt says the support of Los Olivos Rotary and Santa Ynez Valley Cycling Club and other members of the community has made a significant difference.
She said 1,000 bikes, while that is an important goal, is certainly possible.
“I plan to stick with it. We’re not going to stop until we hit our target,” Hauenstein said.
To donate or learn more about Lotus Outreach International, visit lotusoutreach.org/1000bikescampaign or email [email protected]
A grade eight student from Santa Ynez will organize a bike ride on May 6 to raise funds that will help provide girls in developing countries with access to education.
Lisa André covers Valley Life for Santa Ynez Valley News.