Participating in the 2020 Great Cycle Challenge Canada!
Through the month of August 2020 I participated in the Great Cycle Challenge Canada!
The Great Cycle Challenge Canada is a month long national SickKids Foundation fundraising initiative event that was first held in 2016. The purpose of the event, which was held in August this year in 2020, is to help raise funds in support of research to develop treatments and find a cure for childhood cancer. People of all ages, abilities, and from every province across the country set themselves a personal riding goal and amount of funds they hope to raise, and then challenge themselves to pedal throughout August to fight kids’ cancer!
I had never heard about this event before until earlier this spring when an advertisement for the Great Cycle Challenge popped up on social media. It sounded like a great event, for a very good cause, and I love to ride my bike, so I checked out the website to learn more about it.
The Great Cycle Challenge Canada is set up so that anyone can take part in it very easily. The rider simply needs to sign up on the website, choose the goal amount of kilometres they want to ride through the month and the goal amount of funds they hope to raise.
There was not a particular day or place that you had to complete your goal kilometres. You just simply had to head out on your bike whenever and wherever you wanted throughout the month, and keep track of those kilometres on something such as a fitness app like Strava connected to the Great Cycle Challenge Canada app. You also had to promote the event on your social media and tell friends and family about it, in hopes that they would help support you by donating.
I really loved the idea of the Great Cycle Challenge Canada and the cause it was supporting. Since I planned on spending a lot of time on my bike this summer anyway, I thought it would be a great idea to sign up and take part in the challenge!
I had never really participated in a charity fundraising event such as like this one before, except for the Jump Rope For Heart, Heart and Stroke Foundation Canada events that I used to participate in at school.
I signed up and gave myself a very easy starting goal of raising $100.00, and biking 200km throughout the month. 200km seemed a very reasonable amount of kilometres for me to ride during one month, and not something that I would not be able to achieve. I posted across both my personal and Adventures with Josie social media accounts telling people about the event I was participating in. I was really surprised that during the first day alone, I raised $120.00!
As the weeks and months went on, and it got closer to August, I had received some more donations and was starting to reconsider my 200km goal. It wasn’t that I thought 200km would be too difficult to achieve, I was actually starting to think that it would be too easy. Over the spring and first half of summer, I had been biking further than ever before. I’d go out on my bike and easily complete 30 to 40km in a few short hours.
August came and I was very happy to head out on my bike and start making all the kilometres that I ride count for something, to go towards raising funds for such an important cause. I completed some of the kilometres during rides with my biking partner along the local country roads and highways, some during short rides around town, but the majority of my kilometres were completed by riding around Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park.
During the past few years I’ve gone to Samuel de Champlain with my bike for day trips quite often, on days I wasn’t working and had no plans. I’d enjoy riding around the park, stopping at different places to look around, go to the beach, and then ride some more after. I had already been doing that this summer but now that it was August, I’d have to ride around the park a little more each time. This often meant instead of biking one or two loops around the park each time I went, I started biking three or four or more. On one day I actually managed to ride 51km just along the park roads!
Samuel de Champlain was a great place to ride during the challenge! Lots of different roads to ride along, no worry of lots of traffic and fast vehicles that you would find out on country roads or highways. Plus if I was riding on a very hot day I could stop at the beach for a while to have a swim and cool off!
Within the first ten days of the challenge I had already ridden 109km, over half of my 200km goal. It was then that I knew I needed to up the challenge a little by changing my goal to 300km instead.
All throughout the month I kept my followers and donators up to date by posting regularly on social media about how I was doing in the challenge. I got a lot of great comments and support from everyone!
I completed the last of my 300km on Thursday August 27th during a ride on a colder day around Samuel de Champlain. It felt amazing to have reached my goal and was even more amazing that I had raised $471.18 by that point!
By the end of August I had raised a total amount of $549.00! I had raised enough funds to earn the Great Cycle Challenge bike jersey, which I then proudly wore while riding around Samuel de Champlain on the last day of the event on Monday August 31st! This brought my riding total to 332km for the month. I had never ridden that far in one month before, and I had so much fun doing it! But the important thing was that it was all for a very great cause, raising funds for kids cancer research! Cancer is an terrible disease, and must be absolutely awful for a child to have to go through all that. I hope that even the small amount of funds that I raised can help to make a difference in these children’s lives.
I’m looking forward to participating in the Great Cycle Challenge Canada again next year! Thank you very much to everyone who supported me and donated this year!