The first time Maryke Young participated in the Cycle for Life Tour, she was simply looking for a physical challenge.
This time, it’s personal.
The Cycle for Life, now in its fourth year, is a two-day, 200-kilometer group ride of Victoria, Saanich peninsula, Salt Spring Island and the Cowichan Valley. Organized by Victoria Hospice Society, it is run each year as a benefit for Vancouver Island’s non-profit hospice societies.
The field is limited to 60 riders, and this week fewer than 25 openings remained for the July 23-24 tour.
Young and Andy Telfer, executive director of Oceanside Hospice in Qualicum Beach, comprise the Oceanside Wheelers team and hope a few more area riders will join them as they try to raise $5,000 for the cause.
“Anyone who wants to join us is welcome,” said Telfer, who participates in weekly 50-km rides each Sunday from Head Over Wheels bike shop. “We’ll work with them on a training plan if they need help.”
Andy Telfer, left, executive director of Oceanside Hospice, and Maryke Young are training for the July 23-24 Cycle for Life hospice benefit ride. — Image credit: J.R. Rardon/PQB NEWS
Young has the benefit of inside knowledge, having ridden in the 2015 event. At that time, she said, the fit cyclist and runner was looking for a “century” ride (more than 100 km) to participate in.
“I didn’t know much about hospice, so I researched it and thought it was a great cause,” she said.
But in the past year her husband died and she has since become a client of Oceanside Hospice, taking advantage of its support and counseling.
“This year, I’m riding in memory of my husband.”
Telfer is riding in his first Cycle of Life tour, and said his motivation is simple.
“It’s an easy fit for me,” he said. “I’m now executive director of hospice and I’m a cyclist. It would seem silly not to.”
To join or learn more, call Telfer at 250-752-6227 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also sign up for the tour or get more information at www.cycleoflifetour.ca.