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Team raises money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Cyclebetes team.September 30, 2009

Cyclebetes is a national event that is dedicated to raising money and awareness for Type I diabetes. It began in 2007 when Kyle Balagno, a Vancouver businessman, promised his daughter that he would do everything in his power to help find a cure for her juvenile (type 1) diabetes before her 18th birthday. He had 6 years. That commitment spawned Team H2V, a 5 man team who cycled across Canada at break neck speed in September 2007. They made the epic ride in just 8 days, setting a Guinness World Record and raising $800,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The journey of Team H2V was remarkable and inspiring to all Canadians. The simple goal that fueled the team was the desire to do something that hadn’t been done, something big. Accu-Chek Cyclebetes is the legacy of Team H2V - built on themes of community, responsibility, leadership and promise. Accu-Chek Cyclebetes gives Canadians the opportunity to become Champions in four events that will take place across the country with donations benefiting the JDRF.

Cyclebetes is a yearly event and there are many ways one can participate. The provincial relay involved a 10 person team from each province taking turns riding a tandem bike across the province carrying a torch filled with a vial of insulin. In Toronto, Hope to Vancouver and Nanaimo to Victoria, there were community rides where recreational riders could join the team to raise awareness and money.

Five students from the Centre for Sport and Exercise Education completed their internships with Cyclebetes this summer: Kerry Sjolie, Kara Wiseman, Jillian Roemer, Anthony Schamber and Skye Wilton. One of their responsibilities was assisting in organizing the last community ride from Nanaimo to Willow’s Beach in Victoria on Sunday September 13th. Two faculty members from the CSEE participated in the 125km ride - Director Peter Rehor and instructor Tony Webster. Below is a brief report by Tony Webster of how the day went.

How the day went

Riding down the highway.“It was an early but sunny start on the Sunday morning to drive up to Nanaimo for the 8.30am start. For the first leg from Nanaimo to Duncan there were only about 8-10 riders and the pace was FAST – between 30 and 35 km/h, most of it on the side of the main highway. Many of the Cyclebetes crew had been cycling across the country in the previous weeks so they were in pretty good shape! I remember thinking that if the pace continued like that I was going to blow up spectacularly before Victoria!

We had vehicle support all the way so there was always a campervan behind us to protect us from the traffic, a real luxury on the busy highway. After what seemed like no time at all we arrived in Duncan at the Aquatic Centre where we refuelled and rehydrated and picked up about 10-15 more riders for the remaining portion of the ride. Thankfully this meant that the pace moderated somewhat! With our new riders we continued down the highway and turned off onto Cobble Hill Road towards Shawnigan Lake to avoid having to descend to Mill Bay and take a break from the highway traffic. This was a scenic and hilly ride along the lake. After rejoining the highway the descent down the Malahat was fast and fun. I managed to get a high speed flat right at the worst point on this descent but 5-10 minutes later was on my way again after a quick repair.

We peeled off the main highway and made our way into Esquimalt via Metchosin and Craigflower Road. The legs were feeling it at this stage (at least mine were!). Another stop in Esquimalt gave us another 20 or so riders which put the whole group at somewhere between 50 and 70 riders I would guess. We headed into the finish at Willows Beach at a very leisurely pace via Beach Road and Dallas Drive. It was a perfect finish on a beautiful sunny day with almost no wind. A perfect riding day!

Congratulations to all the Cyclebetes crew and it was great to see our students working together on such a fun and worthwhile project. Great work guys!”

Last updated: September 30, 2009 11:53 am

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