What’s the Friends for Life Bike Rally?
“The Friends for Life Bike Rally is the only volunteer-led ride, that brings people together for an inclusive, supportive, and life-changing challenge that inspires much-needed help for people living with HIV/AIDS in Toronto, Kingston and Montréal.”
It’s a 6 day, 600+ km charity bike ride, from Toronto to Montreal.
I won’t be doing it this year. I missing the 25th anniversary year because it’s too close to my second knee replacement and I haven’t been able to train or ride those distances yet.
For many years training for the bike rally, fundraising for the bike rally, and riding the bike rally has shaped my summers. The Friends for Life Bike Rally was the big event that marked, for me, our fittest by fifty challenge that launched the blog.
I’m not going to give the full list of which summers I rode and who I rode with but it feels like the rally is part of the rhythm of my summer. There’s a partial list here, I think.
Last year Sarah and I rode the full thing and our friend Rob came along as a rubber maid rustler, helping to get the containers full of riders’ tents, clothes and sleeping bags off the trucks that accompany us along the route. I did it pretty much right before knee replacement surgery.
It’s a meaningful and importance cause. It’s also a community I care very much about. There are friends I only see every year at bike rally training rides or at the ride itself. Hey friends!
Today, Saturday, is packing day for the rally and my newsfeed is full of friends’ stories and photos of what they’ve forgotten this year and in years past. Tomorrow, Sunday, is departure day and I’ll be following along to see how my rally friends are managing, both in terms of kilometers ridden and dollars raised.
My Facebook newsfeed is also full of memories of past rides.
Here’s more rally memories:
You might be wondering, “What on earth can I possibly do to make Sam feel better about missing the bike rally?” That’s easy. You can sponsor a rider who isn’t me here.
Or, you can sponsor me in the Pedal for Parkinson’s ride, which I am doing this summer here.
I’m hoping to ride in the Friends for Life Bike Rally next summer, either the three day or the six day ride, though I worry about our changing climate and heat and thunderstorms more than about my fitness.
See you there!