MS Bike Tour and Pride London: Conflict resolved!

For a few years now, I’ve struggled with an unfortunate conflict, between Pride London’s annual parade and festival and the MS Bike Tour.

What’s the MS Bike Tour? (I’m going to assume our readers are familiar with Pride celebrations. )

“MS Bike is the largest cycling series event in North America. MS Bike is a fun cycling event that is suitable for various fitness levels, while bringing people together for an important cause ‒ to end MS. Over 10,000 cyclists participate in 27 tours across Canada between June and September. Proceeds from MS Bike fund vital MS research and programs & services that enable those affected by MS. To participate, all you need is a bike and a passion to end MS.”

I’ve been riding for more than five years now as part of Team Western (here’s an older story about our group) riding from Grand Bend to London on Saturday and then London to Grand Bend on Sunday on the third weekend in July.

But the Pride Parade is that weekend, on Sunday and each year I’ve tried a different solution. One year I rode halfway to Grand Bend and then back to London on Sunday, so doing the full distance but also ending up in the right place for the Parade. Another year I left for Grand Bend at the crack of dawn, made it there, and then drove back fast. But fast driving is so not my style.

This year, along with another friend and work colleague, we’re going to do the full distance in 1 day, instead of 2. Our plan is to arrive by bike in Grand Bend Saturday morning, having ridden from London to Grand Bend bright and early, and then head back to London. Another fun aspect of this solution is that I’ll actually get to take advantage of the rest stops along the way. Usually they seem unneeded in a ride of that length given the speed at which road bikes travel. The first rest stop is 15 km in and this year I’m going to enjoy it. I’m going to stop at all the rest stops, eat all the snacks, and enjoy talking to people.

I’m always impressed with the range of people doing this ride. Not just the lycra and spandex road bike set, there are lots of tandems, recumbents, unicycles, and Penny Farthings. Some people do it fancy dress and funny costumes. There are people who’ve never ridden that far before in their lives. The one thing we have in common is that our lives have been touched in some way by MS and that we want to raise money to help end the disease and have some fun along the way.

I only do 1 charity ride a year though the Friends for Life Rally is on my bucket list. It’s 600 km Toronto to Montreal, to raise money to support people living with HIV/AIDS. (The Friends For Life Bike Rally is the sustaining fundraiser of the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation.)

If you’d like to help out with my fundraising efforts, you can sponsor me here. Please!