Cyclist to pedal around world for free education

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Cydney Long

Members of the Georgia Southern University community welcomed cyclist Max Peer to campus as he arrived at the RAC yesterday at 2 p.m. as a part of the “Share the Knowledge Tour.”

Peer, along with support and materials from Interaction Design Foundation (IDF), will travel 35,000 miles across the world to major universities over a span of four years to hand out free educational materials.

“I was looking for different combinations of bike touring and ideas that supported underprivileged kids all around the world,” Peer said. “With IDF, I found that opportunity.”

“IDF is helping to spread education and knowledge throughout the world in a manner that is free, that is open and taught in classrooms through excellent professors,” Kim Huffman of SAP said.

GSU was the first stop on the tour, chosen by Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing (SAP).

SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, according to a news release.

“Georgia Southern has an excellent reputation, excellent faculty and excellent students that have all contributed to SAP,” Huffman said.

“This sets a new level for GSU. We’re exceeding other schools around us in the technology aspect,” Aharon Najafi, senior information systems major, said.

Peer is carrying with him all of is camping gear, a foldable canoe, a GPS, a camera, a laptop and a solar panel that powers all of the electronics. Peer also carries water treatment and packaged food.

“Including me, [the bike] weighs about 420 pounds,” Peer said.

While Peer will meet up with other cyclists along the way, he will mostly make this journey without anyone following behind him.

The biggest problem will probably be the wind because it is unpredictable, Peer said.

“It’s a good accomplishment for him to be able to travel the world in four years,” Diana Pratt, junior public relations major said. “That takes a lot of dedication, and it’s admirable that he wants to help students receive free education.”

Peer first started providing free educational materials to underprivileged children in his native country of Austria where he worked as a sound engineer.

“I think this will be a good example of how being self-supported and representing sustainability shows what you can achieve out of your own abilities,” Peer said.

“It’s very unique. Promoting free education is a good goal,” Xaver Groiss, junior information systems major, said.

“I think this will make a great impact on helping the less fortunate receive free education,” Katie Green, senior finance major, said.

The next stop on the tour is Penn State University.