A team of Brock University staff and friends are seeking fellow pedal pushers to join them in a fundraising bike ride in support of local cancer care.
For the 11th consecutive year, the Brock University Cyclones are participating in the Big Move Cancer Ride in support of the Walker Family Cancer Centre. The group is looking for additional team members and donations to help reach their $15,000 goal.
COVID limitations on large gatherings has resulted in a different format for this year’s fundraiser. Normally taking place in a single day, the event will allow participants the flexibility to choose the day, distance and route they will ride at their own pace and schedule. From Friday, Sept. 3 to Sunday, Sept. 19, participants can ride their own 25-, 50- or 75-kilometre route or one pre-selected by the event’s organizers. There is also a 10 to 16-kilometre ‘family ride’ route to accommodate younger or inexperienced riders.
“Whether a person prefers to ride a road bike, recumbent bike or tricycle, anyone who can push pedals is invited to join the Brock Cyclone team,” said Karl Thorp, Senior Platoon Supervisor with Campus Security Services, who has been the Cyclones’ team captain since 2011.
Thorp first joined the team as a way to give back to the local community and continues to ride because of a personal connection to cancer.
“One of my best friends from elementary school passed away from cancer two years ago. He was one of the first people I met when my family moved to Canada,” he said. “It was devastating (when he passed). He was such a cheerful person who lived for his kids. It hit me hard because I hadn’t gotten a chance to see him in a few months, and now I never will.”
Thorp also continues to ride specifically with the Big Move Cancer Ride because he knows funds raised stay in Niagara and go directly to support the Walker Family Cancer Centre at the St. Catharines site of the Niagara Health System.
“I want people who are dealing and surviving with cancer to be able to get their treatments locally, so they don’t have to be travelling long distances,” he said. “If they can do it closer to home, it means they are also closer to their families and support network. Receiving treatments in Niagara lessens the burden of travelling and allows cancer patients more quality time with their loved ones.”
Thanks to continued participation and donations from the Brock community, friends and family, the Brock Cyclones have raised more than $110,000 in the past 11 years.
Event participants are encouraged to set an individual goal of raising $500 but will not be turned away if they raise less. Anyone who raises $500 or more will receive a Big Move Cancer Ride cycling jersey in addition to the items included in the registration package, such as a T-shirt, cycling bib, face mask and tote bag.
Riders are encouraged to track their own distance and share their experience through social media posts and photos with the Niagara Health Foundation.
“It’s a great way to still feel connected to the community of riders participating in the event,” Thorp said. “COVID may have changed the way the event takes place, but it won’t limit our enthusiasm for raising funds for such an important local initiative.”