Arkel Microtour

The Arkel boys out on a sub 24 hour overnighter. Had a blast being filmed by drone and using/testing our new Seatpacker and Rollpacker bikepacking bags and some of our panniers as well. What a great feeling to be out on our bikes for some quality R&R. The ride out was wet at times but ended with clear skies and an amazing sunset, perfect timing for a quick dip in the river before dinner. The time spent with the crew chatting and eating around the campfire was awesome! Woke up to clear skies and rode home in perfect riding weather.

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A trip of 4000 km by bike through 6 countries in Europe during 4 months. Justine Rochibaud, 24, set herself quite a challenge! The goal is to collect 50 000$ for L'Arche l'Etoile of Québec, a non-profit organization where people with and without intellectual disabilities share life together, living and working in community.

The reason behind this challenge
Justine's big sister, Elise, lives in a L'Arche household for two years now. Her family wanted to make sure Elise finds a place with a family-like setting where she could feel surrounded and loved, just like at home. L'Arche is the perfect place because it provides an environment of mutual relationships where people with intellectual disabilities can reach their full potential. By seeing how happy and blooming her sister is within this welcoming community, Justine decided to get involved and help L'Arche in its mission. Roulons pour que ça m'Arche was born.

This trip is also a personal challenge for Justine who has never done a cycling trip before. « I am quite a sporty person and I have often ridden a bike for the past few years. However, I am seriously into biking for only two months. » During her 4000 km trip, Justine will visit 10 L'Arche houses in 6 European countries : France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Spain.

The mission of L'Arche 
L'Arche was founded in 1964. The aim of this non-profit global organization is to create communities which welcome people who have intellectual disabilities. Today, L'Arche exists in 37 countries worldwide, including Canada. Its mission is « to make known the gifts of people with intellectual disabilities revealed through mutually transforming relationships. L'Arche seeks to respond to the distress of those who are too often rejected, and to give them a valid place in society. »

L'Arche l'Etoile of Québec was founded in 1976. It includes 4 households and a day center.

The aim of this fundraising initiative
The main goal of Roulons pour que ça m'Arche is to collect 50 000$ for L'Arche l'Etoile. The organization has significant financial needs, and the money raised will help to open a second day center in order to welcome more people with intellectual disabilities.

During her trip, Justine will volunteer in every L'Arche household she will visit. She will take advantage of this opportunity to gather and share ideas, good practices, and strategies used in the different L'Arche houses, and bring them back to Québec.

Recently graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Accountancy, Justine wanted her fundraising campaign to be as transparent as possible. Every dollar given will go directly to L'Arche. To do so, Justine has found sponsors to cover her personal costs: bicycle, bike gear, transfers, and food. This is where Arkel steps in.

The commitment of Arkel
Here at Arkel, we love building quality gear that last, and we also love supporting the causes that are dear to our heart. That's why we have chosen to sponsor Justine in her bike trip through Europe by providing her with panniers. « I have been told Arkel products are high quality and very strong, so I am very thankful for their support. » said Justine.

Arkel is already dedicated to community empowerment through our commitment with CRDITED Estrie - a social service program for folks with Intellectual Disabilities and Pervasive Development Disorders - which goal is to bring these lovely people to work for a company in a real world work environment. The lively crew from CRDITED works every day within Arkel workshop. Supporting Justine's fundraising initiative was perfectly making sense to us.
In April, our team was pleased to meet both Justine and her sister Elise who came to visit our company.

This amazing trip starts on the 10th May. You can support and follow Justine through her website and her Facebook page.

Good luck Justine in this great adventure!

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This is another amazing story of some of the riders that Arkel is proud to sponsor and to share their story with the world. What they have accomplished is truly remarkable. If you have an Arkel handlebar bag from 2003 or know someone who does please read and share this story so we can help them with their search to complete their display and so you can get a 2015 Arkel pannier in return!

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John, Gaetane and their kids David and Shifra head out on bikes from Vancouver, BC to Mexico to bike4orphans and more!

"We want to ignite a fire of compassion in our hearts and inspire our children to look beyond themselves and our comfortable well fed Western World to care about others less fortunate.
As we bike and blog we will be raising awareness and funds to get us there and leave gifts behind."

You can follow thier adventure here:

Now Available from Arkel: Fat Bike Pannier Racks.

Calling All Fatties! Arkel now offers the ultimate rack for your big bad bikes! These OMM Sherpa rear racks are specifically design for Surley Pugsley, Moonlander and Salsa Mukluk bicycles.

Pair the Old Man Mountain bombproof Sherpa rack with Arkel's bestselling XM's series bike panniers. Or deck it out with Dolphins or the Bug, our backpack/pannier combo. 

Old Man Mountain Sherpa Rear Rack for Pugsley equipped with a set of black XM-28s. This is one mean looking fat bike touring setup!!

More details on the fat bike racks : Click here

More details on the XM-28 panniers : Click here