Cubs owner leads charity bike tour from Wrigley Field
to Miller Park

By Tom Held of the Journal Sentinel

Far different from the stereotype of obnoxious Cubs fans, a horde of Chicagoans led by team owner Todd Ricketts will roll into Milwaukee on Saturday as global do-gooders.

Combining bikes and baseball, the group of 650 will pedal 100 miles from Wrigley Field to Miller Park and raise roughly $300,000 for World Bicycle Relief, a charity that distributes heavy-duty bicycles in sub-Saharan Africa.

Ricketts and his siblings, the offspring of TD Ameritrade founder Joseph Ricketts, bought a majority interest in the Cubs in 2009.

Todd Ricketts was already owner of the Higher Gear Bike Shops in Wilmette and Highland Park and a member of the board of directors of World Bicycle Relief.

“As a kid, I didn’t have a bike, so I’ve been somewhat obsessed with it as an adult,” Ricketts said.

F.K. Day, a founder and vice president of SRAM Corp., founded World Bicycle Relief with his wife in 2005.

SRAM is the world’s second-largest maker of bike components, and the charity Day created ranks 12th on Barron’s list of the most effective philanthropic organizations.

“World Bicycle Relief programs have a simple resonance with cyclists,” Day said. “They get the impact of walking vs. riding.

“For us to be able to communicate the importance of transportation enriches their experience on the bike and possibly motivates them to get involved with bikes in developing countries.”

Day recognized the lifesaving potential of bicycles during a trip to Sri Lanka following the tsunami in 2004. A visit to Zambia in 2006 solidified his belief that providing heavy-duty, easy-to-maintain bicycles to people in third-world countries could change lives.

“To millions of people in Africa, a quality, sturdy bike is the difference between getting to school, getting health care, making a living or not,” he said. “It is a simple, yet powerful tool that can help lift the most in need out of poverty.”


Cubs Owner, Rahsaan Bahati and
World Bicycle Relief founder