From Norway to Portugal via the UK and France by bike – that is the goal of the "Jede Meile zählt" (Every Mile Counts) charity campaign. The organizers are hoping to raise a total of 75,000 Swiss francs for disadvantaged children. The two cyclists are being accompanied by a specially designed Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
In the first week of August 2016, Andreas Isler and Marcus Niessl are embarking on their 8,000-kilometer tour of Europe. The aim is to raise 75,000 Swiss francs for the Pro Juventute and ROKJ foundations. Pro Juventute supports and promotes children and their parents in Switzerland with targeted projects. Pro Juventute supports and promotes children and their parents with targeted projects in Switzerland. This includes supervised holiday programs, parental guidance or financial skills training.
ROKJ stands for "Rotary und Inner Wheel für Kinder und Jugendliche aus sozial benachteiligten Familien" (Rotary and Inner Wheel for Children and Young People from Socially Disadvantaged Families), and helps such young people financially or through active, personal involvement. The two cyclists are highly motivated and well-prepared. "The intensive preparations took around two and a half years. Fitness is one thing. The other aspect is the organization, putting together the right equipment and crew as well as finding suitable partners," Michael Niessl explained.
Mercedes-Benz Switzerland and Mercedes-Benz Automobil AG Merbag in Schlieren are supporting the charity campaign by providing an accompanying vehicle. The vehicle chosen is a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 319 CDI 4x4.
A body builder converted the vehicle to suit the route and its challenges. Some of the sections of road on the route are challenging, which is why, in addition to a powerful V6 engine with 190 hp and 4440 Nm, the Sprinter also has engageable all-wheel drive and off-road tires. The best possible level of safety is guaranteed by Crosswind Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist.A sink, fridge, gas hob, TV and music system in the interior ensure the comfort of the crew. The exterior of the vehicle features connections for gas, electricity, compressed air and a shower. One example of the extra level of customization is the digital controls to program the lights, pumps and electricity.
The "Jede Meile zählt" project is taking place for the second time. In 2012 the route ran through the US. The four participants set themselves a goal of 50,000 Swiss francs. They ultimately collected 124,000 Swiss francs, which they donated to charitable foundations.
Follow the expedition at www.jedemeilezaehlt.ch/.