Bike Shop Raises Money, Collects Cycles for African School

One of Stratton Delany’s hand-painted Kazane brand bikes.

Keirin Culture Bicycles, a mostly-custom shop run by Stratton Delany, is collecting used bicycles and parts for a secondary school in Tanzania, Africa. Delany organized a bike-themed art show last weekend to raise money as well.

One of Delany’s own Kazane brand bikes, painted for the occasion – was auctioned off. Noted skateboarder Natas Kaupas, now the creative director for Quicksilver and owner of Designarium skateboards, hand painted the racing cycle.

Delany, who also sponsors a regional road racing bike team (see kazaneracing.com), learned about the Nianjema Secondary School in Tanzania, which is run by Virginia Tech graduate Charlie Sloan.  He thought the school would be a good focus for fundraising; Delany had been to Africa before (in Ghana) to help his father, who is an inventor.

Kazane Racing is also gathering used bikes and parts for the Nianjema Secondary School, for a team that will be started there.  “That’s our big project for the year,” said Delany.  Several of Sloan’s friends in Tanzania will mentor the team and Delany hopes to send over 10-15 bicycles. “A lot of people have been really generous,” he notes.

“About 400 children now attend the Nianjema school,” said Delany, “all kids who never would have had a chance for an education.” Members of his Kazane racing team that attend Virginia Tech clued him in to the story of Sloan’s school.

Kierin Culture Bicycles (profiled in the Star-Sentinel last year) outgrew its original space in the Black Dog Salvage building and moved recently to the former Angler’s Café at 310 2nd St. NW.  Ironically that storefront had been the temporary home of the Carless Brit Museum, River Laker’s ode to the bicycle as an alternative means of transportation.

Delany, who moved to Roanoke about a year and half ago, is impressed by the strides Roanoke has made to become more bike and pedestrian friendly, including the growing greenway system. He also sees more of a market for the high-end bikes he builds. “Different … groups keep popping up everywhere.”

By Gene Marrano
gmarrano@cox.net