Wheels for Well riders made stop in Kelowna Friday, June 29. The organization is fundraising for clean water in Africa. - Credit: Contributed

Peddling for clean water

Wheels for Wells made a stop in Kelowna Friday

Cyclists peddled hard through Kelowna yesterday, as they raised money for clean water in Somalia.

Called Wheels for Wells Calgary Tour, the bike riding event took participants on a trip from Vancouver to Calgary, stopping in Kelowna Friday, July 28.

President and CEO of the nonprofit Sarah Fillier was making her way up the Coquihalla, just outside of Merritt when she spoke to the Capital News.

“It’s been a pretty big morning,” she said.

The seven-person crew is riding for five days, covering approximately 200 kilometres per day to reach their goal of 1,100 km, she said.

Everyone was in tip-top shape for the ride, with two iron man athletes joining for the cause.

The money raised is donated to World Vision, which builds wells in Africa.

The idea started in started in 2012, when nine-year-old Alex Weber realized more than one billion people don’t have access to clean drinking water.

“That just blew his mind… so he put together the very first cycling event and raised enough money for a water project,” said Fillier.

After Weber and his parents moved, Fillier and her significant other David Custer took on the event.

The goal is to raise $15,000, which would have an impact on 10 villages, or approximately 28,000 people, said Fillier.

As of Friday, the team almost surpassed their mark.

“This is by far our biggest year. Normally we fund one water project a year, but this year we’re doing our third,” said Fillier.

The nonprofit also hosts four events per year with the community ride in Calgary growing three times its initial size.