Citizens of Bogota are donating money to buy a replacement bicycle for a Russian tourist whose vehicle was stolen in Colombia’s capital, halfway through an epic trip from Mexico to Argentina.
Tourist Vladimir Kumov was hoping to reach Argentine capital Buenos Aires on two wheels, until thieves stole his bicycle while he was having a coffee in the Colombian capital last Wednesday.
Self-professed bicycle-lover Carlos Galkiewicz heard the news and took it upon himself to make matters right. With the help of partner Matilde, Galkiewicz on Thursday created a Facebook group to collect donations to replace Kumov’s bike.
The group aims “to show that there are also good people in Colombia – especially those who ride bikes – we want to replace Vladimir Kumov’s bicycle, which was stolen in Bogota, so that he can continue to promote bicycles on his Latin American journey.”
Galkiewicz initially created the group out of solidarity for a fellow cyclist. However, he is now using the Facebook page’s influence to raise awareness for bicycle use in the capital city.
“We are using the group to campaign for better security and safety measures for cyclists in Bogota ,” Galkiewicz told Colombia Reports.
As part of the campaign, a mass-bike ride, led by Vladimir himself, will take place in Bogota on Saturday. After the bike ride, cyclists are invited to a viewing of the documentary “Let’s Bike It!” which the Russian made during a bicycle-tour of Europe, from Russia to Portugal.
The Facebook group has already proven to be a success, with around $1000 raised and support from Colombian companies and bicycle manufacturers. At the time of writing, the group had accumulated over 1,260 followers.
Weekly Semana published an interview with Vladimir, who said his time in Bogota had been “a wonderful experience, because it demonstrates the solidarity of the people of Bogota.”
Once his bike has been replaced, Kumov plans to go to Cali, continue his journey to Buenos Aires and finish making another documentary.
- Una bici nueva para Vladimir Kumov (Facebook)
- Colombianos le daran bicicleta nueva a Vladimir Kumov (La Semana)
- Interview with Carlos Galkiewicz