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Image courtesy MiiR.com
A few years ago, entrepreneur and outdoor adventurer, Bryan Papé wanted to create a well-made, customizable water bottle. Upon learning that close to a billion global citizens lack access to clean water, he built into the MiiR brand a One4One initiative, providing clean drinking water to one person for one year with each bottle sold.
Building on the success of their water bottle sales that support clean water access campaigns, MiiR is now taking on the global issue of sustainable transportation with a new line of bicycles.
"To go from producing water bottles to bicycles was definitely not the most obvious choice in terms of product progression," Papé admitted. But when MiiR followed up with its partnered community in Liberia to find out about further needs, transportation was the foremost issue. In remote communities, a means of sustainable transportation like a bicycle can make the difference between attending school, selling at a market, getting access to services or not.
MiiR listened and has steered their brand towards sustainable transportation, creating an opportunity to not only design and sell bicycles, but to partner with the World Bicycle Relief overseas and the Boise Project in Idaho. The result is a buy-one give-one bicycle, empowering individuals with earned bicycles through a work-to-own or study-to-own program.
In terms of making products that make change Papé said, "Water bottles were a natural way to reduce bottled water use. With bikes, you're reducing miles driven. Transportation is the next phase in sustainable development," he explained, "Within cities, most of our trips are within 4 miles of home."
With this in mind, MiiR partnered with Kevin Menard of Transition Cycles to design two models of bicycles that make it easy to get around town on a low-maintenance ride.
The first model is the High 5 internal-gear urban bicycle, which comes as a diamond frame or as a mixte. "I love mixtes, just the classic look; it's a timeless design," Papé said, "As soon as we specified Sturmey-Archer 5-speed internal hubs we got excited and wanted to call it the High 5 because it's such a good feeling." He explained how well everything was thought through during the design process, from the custom lugs, to the classic thumb shifters and even the rise of the moustache handlebars.
The second model, the Wave, is a rad around-town single speed fixed gear with a flip-flop hub. "A lot of fixed gear bikes have popped up overnight," Papé said, "But we can't compromise quality. We're definitely a premium fixed gear."
Built with high quality materials such as chromoly butted steel frames and lightweight alloy components, the High 5 and Wave are designed for an easy and usable ride.
MiiR has launched a donation campaign for their first bicycle production run. Donors, in return, receive some great items, including a direct trade bicycle basket woven by partnered community members in Liberia. Donating $549 or $749 can even get you a presale Wave or High 5 bicycle at $150 off the MSRP and your bicycle is matched with an earn-a-bike program through the buy-one give-one model. Presales are available on the Giftcraft website givecraft.com/campaign/396 until December 1st, after which you can order from MiiR.com.