Over three years, Cycle Waterloo’s Tour de Waterloo event has seen the Waterloo Region’s cyclists raise some $55,000 for the Grand River Hospital Foundation and KW Counselling. As the event continues to gain momentum in its fourth year, does organizer Malcolm Steven have a new fundraising goal?
“You know what? If we can raise another $30,000, I would be really excited,” he said. A pause. “Let me just do the math …”
He started calculating. While participants are encouraged to raise money for whatever cause they want, the entry fee will go to support the two partner charities. “Basically, if we get 600 riders times 60 bucks… that would be $36,000. So, if we get 500 riders times 60, that’s in the $30,000 range. Right now, we’re definitely trending upwards of at least 500 to 600.”
Those 500-600 (or more) can take their pick of three routes for Sunday’s race: 40km, 70km, or 130km, with the longest race stretching from Waterloo up Wellesley, around the Conestogo River, through Heidelberg and back. Prizes will go to the top five fundraisers (with Z10 Blackberries for the top two), plus prizes for the top three male and female finalists.
There will be several notable participants in the 2013 race: 10 paracyclists will be participating in the 40km race, including London Special Olympics paralympian Mark Ledo.
“They’re handcyclists, so they basically lie down on a bike frame and they ride the course with their hands. So it’s not an easy feat to do,” said Steven.
In addition, Canadian cycling veteran and Olympic medalist Steve Bauer will once again don his bike shorts and helmet as a guest.
“He’s a Canadian legend, and he’s coming up to support the cause as well, riding the 130km with us.
“One of the reasons to come out is, you’re certainly supporting two very important charitable causes. The second part is, you’re really going to enjoy a great day,” said Steven, who cited the event’s various post-race dining options as a powerful incentive. “There are other events that are $140 and you get a soggy sub sandwich after you’re done, if you’re lucky. It’s a great value event.”
He continued, “Yeah, there’s the race part of it, but if you’re a recreational rider with a road bike and you just want to do 40k or 70k with a bunch of your friends and ride with good mechanical support, this is the place to go.”
The event starts at the David Johnston Research Technology Park in Waterloo (445 Wes Graham Way). The race begins at 8:30 a.m. on June 23. More information, including registration details, can be found at www.cyclewaterloo.com.