charity · cycling

Tomorrow we ride! #f4lbr

It’s year 5 for me and the Friends for Life Bike Rally which is the main fund raiser for the Toronto People With AIDS society. It’s a great cause, a wonderful generous loving community, and a fun ride.

This year Sarah and I are doing the one day ride, not the full six days to Montreal. It’s 110 km from Toronto to Port Hope. We’ll ride our bikes, go for a swim, have some dinner, catch up with friends, tear up a little that we’re not sticking around for the beautiful roads on the route, sigh with relief a little that we’re not riding into Montreal en masse on the bike path, and get taken back to Toronto by bus at the end of the evening. Yawn.

This morning we drove into the city and dropped off our bags that will meet us in Port Hope. Bathing suits, towels, flip flops, and non cycling clothes. Also, for me, a hat, because helmet hair. It was fun to meet up with the bike rally community, get all the hugs, and try on this year’s jersey. Photos tomorrow, I promise.

Given my big new job and moving and all the life events going on around here the one day ride will be enough of a challenge. Wish us luck. And it’s not too late to sponsor me.


Let there be merchandise! And for a good cause

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Exciting new blog development!  We have some very cool merchandise and if you buy it, you’ll be supporting our fitisafeministissue team in the Friends for Life Bike Rally this summer in support of People with AIDS (PWA) Toronto.

To get your t-shirt and/or mug, check out our Shopify site.

Huge thanks to Jenn Lion, who got the site going, to Pam Sloan for her terrific design, and to Susan Tarshis, team lead with Sam, for helping to get the idea off the ground.

You can also donate directly to the cause.



50th Birthday Challenge: Friends for Life Bike Rally

Last June I wrote about the MS Bike Tour, MS Bike Tour and Pride London: Conflict resolved! and said “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.)”

Well, this year I’m doing it! It’s a much bigger distance and a much bigger fundraising goal ($2500) but I figure my fiftieth birthday summer is the year to do it.

On July 27, 2014, more than 400 people will embark on a six-day, 600 km journey from Toronto to Montreal. Riders of all ages and levels of experience and crew supporting a variety of activities along the route unite in their passion to support people living with HIV/AIDS. The Friends For Life Bike Rally is the sustaining fundraiser of the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation.

Read more about the ride here.

I’m looking forward to Day 3.

Day 3 marks the halfway point of Bike Rally and is known as Red Dress Day. It is the shortest day with a 51 km ride to Queen’s University.

Today, you ride along the edge of Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte as you approach the historic town of Kingston. You make it to Kingston in time for an amazing lunch at Queen’s University. No camping tonight, you sleep in the dorms at Queen’s and have a chance to catch up on some laundry.

I already have my red dress picked out!

I’m hoping that between the blog’s generous community of guest posters, readers, and commentators, I can reach my fundraising goal. I’m also forgoing all birthday gifts and instead asking friends and family to donate to the ride.

I’ve got to say this is an impressive charity event. It’s run almost entirely by volunteers and a huge crew of people help out, far beyond the people doing the ride. (Read about evaluating the charities we run and ride for here: Philanthropy and fitness.)

Please consider sponsoring me. You can do that here.