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The miles add up, and so does the cash

Brendan Lowther will be taking the Great Cycle Challenge in August, raising money for charity. [Sean Heeger]

A few short months ago, Brendan Lowther was fixing bikes in the Woolwich area and donating proceeds from his work to charitable organizations in the region. Now he’s hitting the road on his own bike, hoping to raise money in support of Sick Kids Hospital.

His plan is to ride 800 kilometres throughout the month of August with the hopes of raising $1,500 for the Toronto-based paediatric hospital, with a focus on fighting children’s cancers. This isn’t the first time he’s done the ride – in fact, this will be his fifth time taking part in the annual Great Cycle Challenge since it started in 2016.

Always an avid cyclist, Lowther was inspired to do more in support of the hospital. Of all the other rides in which he can participate, Lowther says this one gives him the freedom to set his own fundraising goal and distances, making it perfect for him.

While raising money for a worthy cause is important to him, at the root it’s simply getting out there on his bike.

“The best part is just getting out and riding various different routes over the course of a month and giving yourself a goal and a challenge – so being able to set a distance goal and a fundraising goal. For the most part that fundraising goal is often the [thing] that’s really the most important part but for me, that personal goal of setting a distance and trying to make that distance is really important,” said Lowther. “[The fundraising] still happens whether you make your goal or not. But, you know, they start counting the rides as of August 1 and they go for 31 days and so if you can get that [distance goal travelled] or more in your time, that for me is the exciting part. Getting out in the country and you know, we have an amazing area, just outside of Elmira that we can ride all kinds of rural roads and not have to worry too much about vehicles and I’ve recently started to enjoy gravel roads as well and so that’s been a new challenge for me as well.”

His ride runs throughout the entire month. His route is not going to be taking him all over the country, but he does plan on ending his trip somewhere scenic and picturesque.

Since he started taking part in this event in 2016, Lowther has raised more than $3,300 and ridden thousands of kilometres. This year he started with an initial fundraising goal of $500. As of July 7 he has surpassed his goal – topping out at more than $650 as of Tuesday evening – and raised his goal to the current $1,500.

He hopes everyone who is able will donate and help him to continue to surpass his goals in the name of fighting cancer.

“If people feel like they have the means to be able to donate towards the kids and fighting kids’ cancer, then that to me [is] the best thing that people can take away from this and just know that at the money is going to a fantastic organization that helps the kids fight cancer,” enthused Lowther.

Click Here to donate to Lowther’s current goal. Donations will be accepted until after the ride is over.

In the four years that the Great Cycle Challenge has been running in Canada, more than $12 million has been raised collevctively to fight childhood cancer. Participants have ridden more than 10 million kilometres during that time.

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