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CHEFS CYCLE – A 300-MILE CHARITY RIDE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – THIS YEAR RAISED OVER $1 MILLION IN THE FIGHT TO END CHILDHOOD HUNGER. WE’RE PROUD OF OUR ASSOCIATION WITH THIS EVENT, AND FOR CO-FOUNDER JOHN POLSON AND BLACK SHEEP CYCLING’S TEAM THIS HAS BEEN AN EXPERIENCE THAT WILL FOREVER INFLUENCE THE BRAND AND ITS DIRECTION.

 

Black Sheep has given me some fairly life changing moments. From brainstorming initial branding ideas, to those first product design sketches; and amazing Collaborations to sell-out Releases. But in the last week all those moments and experiences have been easily surpassed. Surpassed by a cause that is greater than any person, any brand, and any release. I have spent the last week with 150 incredible chefs; celebrities in their own right; geniuses in their own profession. Each and every one of them came together in solidarity to end childhood hunger. 

 

Southern California is stunning; that goes without saying. Outside the superficial landmarks which grace reality TV shows and Hollywood movies you find these hidden gems along the Pacific coast. Gems that are a by-product of a region where desert meets the ocean causing this beautiful eruption of topography, climate, and nature. The three days on the bike of Chefs Cycle, covering 300 miles and tens of thousands of feet in elevation, not only provided us all with a challenge, but also an opportunity to reflect on why this was all happening. Sport is a beautiful thing where at your weakest moment, when the body is tired and the mind is doubtful, you also go through moments of serene introspection, where clarity of thought and purity of emotion is at its highest. Here it goes:

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The statistics say everything. One in five kids in the US go hungry every day. A fact that doesn’t lose its significance regardless of how often you say it.

 

 

I have written about the epidemic of childhood hunger quite a lot. The statistics say everything. One in five kids in the US go hungry every day. A fact that doesn’t lose its significance regardless of how often you say it. It doesn’t make sense. Our politicians are failing us, in the US and in Australia, on the left and on the right. Australia has just gone through a long, and arduous election process The US is in the lengthy throws of exactly the same thing. The issues of equal opportunity, of social and religious acceptance, and of education and health have all been headline acts. On both sides of the ponds. Their importance is unquestionable. But the precursor to this is the next generation. Before gender-based issues, sexual discrimination, and minority persecution rears its ugly head in their lives, the next generation need to grow from small things to slightly bigger things. Without access to food in these early developmental stages, none of the things we as a society class as important are possible to act on.

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Black Sheep’s involvement in Chefs Cycle is not just because we can, but because we need to.
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One of the philosophies I have always tried to instill within our staff, within our suppliers and within our community is to try to look out from the sport, not into it. Yes, we should celebrate the sport’s history, its heroes and its future. But the moment we start to let it dictate our creative direction, our personality, our lives, and our understanding of there being a greater purpose, then that is the day the sport becomes our weakness, not our strength. Black Sheep’s involvement in Chefs Cycle is not just because we can, but because we need to. We cannot be everything to everyone, nor do we want to. We can try to support as many things as possible, or we can provide significant support to just one or two causes. There is no right or wrong answer here. For us, for Black Sheep, it’s going to be one or two. It’s going to be the causes, like ending childhood hunger, that give me and my team that raw emotional experience and inspiration to drive to for change. For us, this is our greater good.

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Chefs Cycle may have finished but ending childhood hunger is an ongoing fight. You can help by donating to No Kid Hungry. A dollar donated can help provide kids another ten meals. Your can also help by simply sharing our story, and by reaching out to your own network and helping them understand this problem.

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DONATE.