Dear Friends and
Supporters of Malambo Grassroots,
this time of year we often contact you about our annual Scrabble/Bridge
fundraising event, this year, we are doing something different! One of our
supporters, Geoff Cross, has offered to ride for Malambo Grassroots at this
year Levi’s GranFondo cycling event, to raise money for our Zambian community
development efforts.
September 29, Levi’s GranFondo takes place in Santa Rosa, California. Started
by professional cyclist Levi Leipheimer in 2009, Levi’s GranFondo is an annual,
organized bicycle event with over 7,000 participants riding over 100 miles for
various charities. Geoff Cross, will be collecting donations and riding in
support of our ongoing education projects with Malambo Grassroots. See below
for a quick Q&A about his upcoming ride and feel free to donate here.
Grassroots (MG): The Gran Route is 103 miles! How do you train for a ride of
that distance?
Geoff Cross (GC): Well, sometimes a little fear is a good
motivator! In general, I like to mix it up and generally stay fit throughout
the year by having fun cross-country skiing, mountain biking, playing tennis
and paddling. And then, for an event like this I start adding longer and longer
rides up until a couple of weeks before the event. This Fondo has a ton of
climbing in the route, so I have made sure to spend time riding up Vancouver’s
mountains, building up to 5-mile ride up Mount
Baker last weekend.Geoff, in blue, on his training ride
up Mt.Baker
With an 8am start and 6pm end time, how long do you think it will take
to complete the ride?
GC: If all goes really well, I am hoping the ride will last
about 7 hours.
What do you think is the biggest challenge riding in such a large group?
over such a long distance?
There will be 7,000 cyclists, riding shoulder to
shoulder and wheel to wheel, who will start the day incredibly excited but come
with different levels of experience and bike handling skills. With a
healthy dose of mountain descents this also means that you have to be very
attentive all day long. On the flip side, group riding is fast and the
collective energy is inspiring, so you have to be careful not to get carried
away too early.

What type of bike are you riding and why?
GC: I ride a beautiful but older steel framed Ritchey Road Bike.
While not the lightest or fastest bike in the peloton, it fits me perfectly and
is more comfortable than a carbon bike because steel absorbs more of the road
vibration and bumps than carbon.
Even though you are riding in such a large group, will you be riding as part of
a team or on your own?
GC: There are several of my friends from Vancouver and
Flagstaff, Arizona riding in the event, and we will likely end up not riding together,
as it is crucial that you find a pace that works for you when you are trying to
complete a long endurance event to your fullest potential. Plus, with 7,000
riders, it is tough to stay together!
Why are you taking part in this event?
GC: For one, there is amazing energy on a large ride like this
which is enthralling to be part of. Secondly, this particular event takes place
on stunning northern California roads, through wine country and even on the
famous Pacific Coast Highway, for a stretch. Finally, the challenge of
preparing for and completing a long event, to the best of one’s ability, calls
for focus and disciplined training and offers the reward of improvement.
Why is Malambo Grassroots or Zambia important to you?
GC: I think the activities of the organization provide tangible
benefits to the communities it serves. What I really like is that Malambo
Grassroots’ approach is sustainable, in that it is helping build local capacity
around issues and initiatives identified by the local partners not imposed by
foreign benefactors who, while well intentioned, are unlikely to be familiar
with the cultural context necessary to get the best outcomes.
be thinking of Geoff on the 29th and wishing him all the best for a great
GranFondo! Thanks for your support, Geoff. We really appreciate the 103 miles
you are putting in for Malambo Grassroots!
are grateful for Geoff’s support and welcome any further donations to continue
our education work in Zambia. We are currently funding over 50 students in
highschool and university and your donations will help provide for their
scholarships and school supplies. To donate, please see our website for details. 100% of your donations go to
our work in Zambia.
free to add a note or comment to the donation that it is in support of
“Geoff Cross, GranFondo ride”. To read more about our current
education projects, click here.
will be sending out a newsletter soon with updates on our other projects on
Zambia, but in the meantime, please feel free to contact us with any questions
or comments to

Farm, Monze, Zambia


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