A Global Ride for Charity
On June 4, 2012 Sharon and Tim Bridgman set off from the North Cape of Norway to cycle unsupported and self-funded around the world.
The husband and wife team from Devon, England were riding to raise awareness and support of ShelterBox, hoping to raise roughly $18,000 for their favorite nonprofit.
The cross-continent trip would follow the axis from the top of Europe, down through Africa, then back up through the Americas ending in Alaska.
They rode through Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and East Africa to Capetown in South Africa, passing through 23 countries and covering 15,939 miles.
The duo then headed to Ushuaia in the Southern tip of Argentina and rode north passing between Chile and Argentina before reaching Bolivia. At this point, they had covered just under 21,000 miles, climbing over 284,000 meters through 26 countries.
Tim and Sharon in Nordkapp, Norway (2012)
Tragedy and inspiration
Sharon Bridgman in Bolivia (2014)
On April 26, 2014, in a remote area in south west Bolivia, Sharon was hit by a 4×4 truck and was killed instantly.
Having such a love for life and everyone she met, Tim was devastated at the loss of his wife and best friend.
Now, the desire to continue to help a charity as important as ShelterBox became even more important with so many losing loved ones in an instant from disaster and civil unrest.
In 2015, Tim resumed his journey. He made his way up through the Americas and British Columbia to finish his journey in Alaska.
Upon entering the U.S., he met numerous ShelterBox volunteers and Rotarians in California, Oregon, Washington and in British Columbia.
He cycled through 39 countries, covered 37,000 miles, climbed 500 km (100 km higher than the International Space Station), and has been an inspiration to countless people along the way with his story of hope, loss, courage, and fortitude.
On the afternoon of July 16, 2016, Tim Bridgman completed his global bike ride in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.
The Bridgman’s in Egypt (2013)
The Bridgman’s in Chile (2013)
The Bridgman’s in Malawi (2013)
The Bridgman’s in South Africa (2013)
The Bridgman’s in Patagonia (2014)
The Bridgman’s in Botswana (2014)
Tim Bridgman begins the second part of his journey (2015)
ShelterBox USA board member Jim Carriere, Jeri Fujimoto (incoming Rotary District Governor 5150), Chris Gallagher (Immediate past Rotary District Governor) and Tim Bridgman in Sausalito, CA (2016)
Tim Bridgman with ShelterBox Response Team member Bill Woodrard in Portland, OR (2016)
Tim Bridgman and Former US Senator Slade Gorton in Portland, OR (2016)
ShelterBox volunteer Eric Reise and ShelterBox USA President Kerri Murray with Tim Bridgman in Portland, OR (2016)
Tim Bridgman meets Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall at ShelterBox UK headquarters (2017)
An Interview with Tim Bridgman
ShelterBox USA president, Kerri Murray, had the privilege of speaking with Tim and shares the conversation in his own words:
Tim describes this as a ‘personal journey’ that he feels compelled to complete.
“I needed to do it to move on. Friends and family have been so supportive since Sharon died. The accident reminds you that you can lose all that in an instant. Mentally I needed to go back and finish what we started. After Sharon’s death I went back to home and wasn’t prepared to be back there without her. I had left my bike in Bolivia because I knew that I would be back. I took several months off because it was the rainy season in Bolivia and would not have been able to cross the salt flats.”
“In February 2015, I went back to the Andes to train and get back in shape. From there I went back to Bolivia, to the place where Sharon was killed. I brought with me a box of letters from so many people who wrote to me and to Sharon, from people who heard about her death. I buried the box of letters there and from there I started my journey again.”
Tim is 42 years old, a carpenter by trade.
When asked what was it about ShelterBox that motivated he and Sharon to dedicate years of their lives to raise awareness and donations for, Tim said:
“What compelled us around ShelterBox was that it didn’t matter who you were, where you came from-the organization helps people who have lost everything in an instant. ShelterBox is amazing in how it uses the goodwill of people to fulfill the mission. So many charities waste money and resources, and you never really know where the donations are going. But with ShelterBox, you see so many people around the world who have lost everything in crisis, benefiting from the work of the organization. People go through life and when disaster happens in an entire area there is no one to turn to.”
ShelterBox gives help and hope often when governments and armies aren’t able to. ShelterBox gives people dignity and basic supplies, providing a stepping stone to the rebuilding process.
See the CNN story and video