Overland: A Journey For Revival | By Ambassador Devon Balet


July 15, 2016

In today’s age of Facebook and Instagram, it seems as though everyone is constantly chasing likes and follower numbers. People display how amazing their life is and show all the far off corners of the world that they have visited. While this can be and is inspirational, it is also not very obtainable for the common person.

 

The idea behind this project was simple; to help others. We wanted to show others that you don’t have to go to some far off country to have a good time and create something worth sharing. That is where the idea of Overland: A Journey For Revival began.

 

A group of avid mountain bikers embarked on a journey across a historic mail delivery route in Texas known as the Butterfield Overland Mail Route. By bringing a revival of reading to the children of one small town, the group hopes to stall its dwindling population and influence the minds and imaginations of its children for years to come.

 The Overland Crew and all our glory. Along our 70 mile route along the historical Butterfiled Overland Route we found several massive water holding tanks. Thankfully our support vehicle had plenty of water for us.

The Overland Crew and all our glory. Along our 70 mile route along the historical Butterfiled Overland Route we found several massive water holding tanks. Thankfully our support vehicle had plenty of water for us.

 

The film follows a group of mountain bikers traveling for Ride For Reading, a Nashville based nonprofit, with a mission to deliver books to low income children at schools across the nation.  Lead by founder Mathew Portell, the group ventures for two days across the Butterfield Overland Mail Route, one of the nation's first mail routes, to the small town of Dell City, Texas to deliver their payload of books to the only school. With the delivery comes a hope of revival for the small town and its residents, after seeing a significant dwindling of its population over the years.

The entire Overland Project would not have been possible without the help from @geodonnie. His extensive local knowledge was crucial to a successful shoot. If you are ever in the El Paso area and need some local knowledge or guided ride, go no further than Don and Geo Betty Tours.

 

Throughout our ride from EL Paso to Dell City, the group experienced the exhilaration of adventure in the unknown, as well as battling mother nature & the elements to achieve their goals. They grow to know one another and themselves even more through exhaustion, camaraderie, humor, and their love for books and the outdoors. This journey is just as much about helping others who are less fortunate, as it is bettering themselves through a selfless act. The group knows we will not gain endless fame from this journey, nor is that what we are after.  Their drive comes from knowing that what they are doing will better the world and hopefully, exponentially change someone’s life.

 

Yes, flats happen. Being prepared for these minor set backs makes things like a flat tire no big deal. The riders of Overland had plenty of flat tire opportunities, but thankfully there were few over the 70 mile ride of pedaling books to the only school of Dell City, Texas.

 

In a world that is continuing to become more and more digitized, books and reading have become an afterthought for many. More and more, we as society are turning to digital screens for every aspect of life. Providing children with books helps to build a more successful future for these children.

 

The film Overland: A Journey For Revival is set to be released in the summer of 2016 with hopes to have it travel across the country on several film tours, helping spread the mission of Ride for Reading to as many viewers as possible.

 

This. This is what the Overland Project was all about, getting books in the hands of kids. After two days and 70 miles of dirt roads our crew arrived to Dell City, greeted by 72 excited and happy students.

 

Ride for Reading  is a Nashville, TN based not-for-profit founded by Mathew Portell with the mission to help children in low-income areas become healthy and literate through the delivery of books on bicycles. The vision of RfR is a world where every child is healthy and literate. RfR has mobilized over 11,200 volunteers, donated over 300,000 books, delivered to over 235 schools in over 33 cities.

 

You can see all of Devon's recent projects at www.devonbaletmedia.com
or through social media at
instagram - @devonbalet
twitter - @DevonBalet

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