Lloyd Bruce is once again slapping on his bike helmet and hitting the road throughout the month of June for a cause he hopes will change little lives for the better.
This is Bruce’s third year taking on the Great Cycle Challenge, a national SickKids Foundation fundraising initiative, and he hopes to tack on another 500 kilometres this month to his total and bring in another $2,500 to help in the fight against childhood cancer. Last year Bruce rode 527 kilometres and raised more than $2,700.
Bruce, a minister of the Sackville United Church, has had a number of family members who’ve had childhood cancer so it’s a cause that’s near and dear to his heart.
“Hopefully the time will come when science will find a cure,” he said. “But until then, if I can do something like this to contribute in some small way, then I’m gonna do it.”
And this year, Bruce had the chance to kick off his challenge in style – and on a completely different side of the country.
In Vancouver for the first week of June, as he tagged along with his wife Jen who was taking part In the Women Deliver Conference, Bruce decided not to let this perfect opportunity go to waste. He decided he would check out the sights on two wheels instead of four.
Renting a bicycle during his five-day trip, Bruce did several loops through gorgeous Stanley Park, visited the Granville Island Market and Chinatown, checked out the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and took a ride to the Museum of Anthropology.
“There was lots of scenery to take in . . . and I’m not ashamed to say my rides usually ended up in a pub somewhere,” he joked.
“It’s been a great way to start it off,” said Bruce last Thursday morning during a phone interview, on a break from his cycling to sail on a catamaran over to Victoria to have lunch with a former inmate he had worked with while he was prison chaplain at Springhill Institution.
Returning home to Amherst this week, Bruce said he expects to get in about 20 kilometres most days, waking up early to trek back and forth across the marsh along the rail bed to and from work – “although the wind across the marsh, that can be a kicker.”
Wind aside, June is a perfect month to do the cycle challenge, he said, as it’s not too hot or humid as it can sometimes be in July and August.
To donate, visit Bruce’s profile on the Great Cycle Challenge Canada website. He said every kilometre ridden and every dollar donated makes a difference.
About the Great Cycle Challenge
• The Great Cycle Challenge started in 2016 and has grown to become one of the biggest cycling events across Canada.
• People of all ages, abilities and from every province across the country set themselves a personal riding goal and challenge themselves to pedal throughout June to fight kids’ cancer.
• Participants from throughout Canada have ridden a total of 6,709,204 kilometres and raised $7,896,090 since 2016 in support of research to develop treatments and find a cure for childhood cancer.
• Cancer is the largest killer of children from disease in Canada, with over 1,400 children diagnosed each year.