From time to time here on the Performance Bicycle Blog we like to recognize our coworkers and let them share what they’re passionate about outside of work. This week we’re talking to Johnny Pratt, a Product Developer at our home office in North Carolina. Johnny joined Performance as the Merchant Assistant for components in August 2011, after working for companies as varied as Eastern Bikes and Credit Suisse. He grew up cycling and has always loved to be outdoors. He raced on the Appalachian State Cycling team while in school there and was a participant in the World Race, traveling to over 15 countries on five continents in a year’s time. Outside of work he spends most of his time racing bikes, doing adventure races, spending time with his family, and serving those in need.
It was that passion to serve others that led Johnny to co-found Bike Raising Inc., a non-profit organization that raises money for charity through cycling events. Bike Raising was born on a ride – Johnny and his friend Josh Stinger were riding in the hills of North Carolina when the concept was formed to create an organization that dedicated 100% of the money earned at an event to small non-profits that are hindered by lack of funding. But we’ll let Johnny tell you more about why he wanted to create and run a non-profit, in his spare time, in his own words.
What is Bike Raising and why does it exist?
We wanted to make a difference to a few non-profits that had massive goals, but were constantly held back because they didn’t have the necessary capital to make it happen. With my business background and Josh’s project management background we knew we could create something to help out. We both loved bike racing and we knew our goal was fundraising so the name Bike Raising was born. It started simple and it remains simple. You participate in a fun, safe and challenging cycling event and a small partner non-profit gets some help. In what other race does everyone win?
The charitable organizations we partner with have a purpose and a mission. We call this their “critical pursuit.” When they are unable to fulfill their critical pursuit it slows down the change they are working towards. Many organizations say that the resource they’re lacking the most is funding. We don’t want them to shift their focus from their mission by dedicating the majority of their staff and resources to fundraising. Bike Raising strives to eliminate the need for these organizations to take their eyes off their goal – which is where we become a valued member of the team. We partner with the organization, learn their needs both financially and socially, put together a plan of action, set goals and set forth to accomplish them all. We allow the organization to keep pressing on with their mission while we handle the rest. This is why our motto is to Race. Give. Love.
What is Bike Raising involved with now and how can someone help out?
The Needle Gate Project is a journey from the Space Needle to the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a pursuit of physical and mental limits. It’s a platform for freedom both to the individuals riding and those whom are yet to be free.
For this project we are proud to partner with She Dances, who is doing the great work of providing holistic restoration for young girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited. She Dances needs funding to be more efficient and effective in their mission. Due to the nature of the human trafficking industry there is very little time between when they discover an at risk girl and when an actual rescue takes place. Funding in the hands of She Dances makes this process move faster, which results in that child’s restoration.
You can help us in bolstering the speed and accuracy of She Dances’ mission. Choose from one of our many exciting perks. Join the insider’s circle and get the video of us shouting your name on the Golden Gate Bridge. Maybe you’d rather go with the Primo Pack that gets you some sweet MiiR stainless steel products, coffee and an original She Dances Tee. Or maybe you want to join the Bike Raising team and get the complete kit. If you help out in any way, you’re joining us on our journey and you’re partnering in the fight against human trafficking. Our goal is to raise $5000 to help support the work and restoration that She Dances is providing.