Parksville handyman proves he’s also very handy with a bicycle

Mark Falvai adds charitable cycling to his list of interests and accomplishments

Brenda Gough photo The winner of Canada’s Handyman Challenge

Brenda Gough photo The winner of Canada’s Handyman Challenge

Some local riders who participated in the Enbridge Ride to Conquor Cancer June 16 and 17 have recovered from the strenuous trek from Vancouver to Seattle and, despite torrential rain and wind,  are already working on building a bigger team for next year.

Mark Falvai and Joanne Simister were part of Team iConquer which was hoping to raise $139,800 for the BC Cancer foundation.

The team with 43 members ended up raising over $150,000.

Falvai who was crowned the winner in Canada’s Handyman Challenge this year used his reality show fame to help raise money for the cause and admitted he was shocked how their total just kept growing.

“I would have never thought we could raise $150,000.  Hopefully we will beat it next year,” he said.

Simister and Falvai had never done the ride before and now that they have, they want to do it again.

and raise even more money in honor of Leon Little.

On November 25, 2011 they lost Little, one of their closest friends to brain cancer.

Following his diagnosis in 2008, Little participated in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer two years in a row; his last ride was in 2011.

Born and raised in Errington, Little was 38 years old when he died.

Simister said everyone who did the ride had to cycle through a torrential down pour.

“It was sideways rain and wind from sun up until sundown,” she exclaimed.

Despite the conditions, Simister said it was manageable.

“We faired better than I thought we would.”

She said they just concentrated on getting from one point to the next and with the encouragement they got along the way it wasn’t that hard.

“The people that lined the streets were welcoming, and they were proud of you, and said to us we were doing important work.  It was so encouraging and the volunteers were amazing,” she agreed.

The experience was so inspiring for the Qualicum Beach couple, they have already started recruiting new members for next year’s team.

“We are signed up already for next year and we are hoping to grow our team.  Having done it we know what to tell our friends.,” she said, and added, “It was emotional and we had a fantastic celebration in Seattle.  The finish line was like coming in on the Tour de France…a block long of crowds of people….there was a JumboTron, music and so many people.  I wish we had gone slower through the finish…it was phenomenal,” she acknowledged.

You can find Falvai and Simister every Tuesday night in Parksville at the Craig Street Market where Falvai is promoting his new business which involves designing fishing gear.

Allure Tackle is his latest project.  He said he has created a job for himself that he feels passionate about.

“People say do what you love and I do enjoy fishing.”

He said the website for his business is under construction but pretty soon will be up and running offering all sorts of lures and flashers.

Falvai has some of his tackle which he designed himself available for purchase at the Craig Street Market and although he is busy creating the gear and doesn’t have much time to test it, his friends have assured him the stuff works well.

“Luckily I have some testers.  There are lots of people lining up to use it.  I have not caught a fish on my own lure. I am a little jealous, because my friends call to say they have.  I cant wait to catch my first one,” he admitted.

Falvai’s designs aren’t ones you would typically find at a tackle shop.  He said his gear is meant to bring fun into fishing but also do the job.

“I want to make sure everything we put out is fishable.  I use the best reflective material. It is 100 percent fishable,” he stated.



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