Contributed by: Susan Chung
Twenty six dedicated cyclists made their way from Toronto, ON to Austin, TX for the ride of a lifetime in an 8-day, 24-hour cycling relay that grossed over $420,000 for Wellspring, a network of cancer support centres in the Greater Toronto Area. Five pelotons (teams) of 5-6 riders supported by a strong volunteer group, teamed up to bike nearly 3,500km, riding day and night.
Along the ride, many lasting memories were made and meeting individuals who were moved by the purpose of the ride including a service shop owner who provided a new tire for one of the support vehicle that needed servicing.
The cyclists saw rain, severe wind, beautiful scenery and everything in between as the ride took them from Ontario through New York, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and finally, Austin.
Upon arrival in Austin, each peloton of riders was welcomed by a special member of their team, a “Wellspring Warrior” – an individual facing a cancer journey or having survived a cancer experience. Together, they took part in the LIVESTRONG Austin Challenge, joining thousands of other cyclists to show their support for those living with cancer.
“We are so grateful for all the support Wellspring has received for this inaugural event – everyone from the riders, to the volunteers, family, friends, and even complete strangers along the way. It has been an EPIC experience. Epic ride…epic fundraising…and epic people,” says Billy Cheung, Wellspring Peloton Rider, Chair of the 2012 Wellspring Peloton Challenge and member of Wellspring’s Board of Directors.
“The ride is not just about the cyclists, though they are key of course, it’s about the many individuals and families who will receive the support they need thanks to their efforts,” says Lynda Morrison, Chief Executive Officer, Wellspring.
Applications for those wishing to participate in the ride in October 2013 are now being accepted online. For more information and to view photos of the ride, visit www.wellspringride.ca.