A chance to ride with Lance
April 24, 2008
Johanna Weidner, RECORD STAFF
Lance Armstrong, shown during the 2005 Tour de France, will be biking with Jim Balsillie and 50 other cyclists who can each raise $25,000 for cancer centres.
RIM billionaire Jim Balsillie and cycling star Lance Armstrong will team up for a local bicycle tour to raise money for cancer treatment.
A select few will take to the backroads of Waterloo Region with Armstrong in the Ride with Lance fundraiser on June 14.
Money raised will go to the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre and the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto.
Balsillie, co-chief executive officer of Research In Motion, is a driving force behind the event. Armstrong is a seven-time Tour de France winner and a cancer survivor.
Riders who want to join the pack will need to raise at least $25,000, including a $1,500 registration fee. Only 50 people can join.
The route is being designed by Canadian cycling legend Steve Bauer. The Olympic silver medallist and Tour de France competitor cycled with Balsillie and Armstrong at a Lake Louise cancer fundraiser in June.
The route will cover about 100 kilometres over country roads around Waterloo Region and take between three and four hours.
"It will be rural, rolling terrain," said Bauer, who owns a St. Catharines company that organizes bike tours around the world.
The route will begin and end in the Kitchener area but is not yet finalized.
"I'm sure we'll get a great route together," Bauer said. "There's so many great roads around there."
The hefty fundraising requirements comes with some perks. Riders will enjoy a reception with Armstrong the night before the ride and brunch before they head out Saturday morning. Every rider, decked out in a team jersey and shorts, gets a chance to pedal at the front of the pack next to Armstrong.
At a post-ride dinner, the top five fundraisers will dine at Armstrong's table.
Website set up to promote Lance Armstrong fundraiser
April 26, 2008
Learn more about the Ride with Lance on the fundraiser's website at www.ridewithlance.ca. On June 14, Lance Armstrong will cycle with an exclusive group of riders on the region's rural roads to raise money for cancer treatment. Riders need to raise at least $25,000, including a registration fee of $1,500. Only 50 people can register. The event will benefit the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre and the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto.
Armstrong, Liggett take a ride
June 10, 2008
Record staff, news services
One of the biggest names in cycle sports reporting will be joining one of the biggest names in professional cycling for a 100-kilometre ride in our area on Saturday. Phil Liggett, cycling journalist and longtime commentator of the Tour de France, will join a pack of 40 cyclists led by seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong through the hills of Waterloo Region. The event is the Ride With Lance, an eastern Canadian version of the annual western Canadian event that raises money for Alberta cancer facilities. For this event, each rider has to raise $25,000 to participate, for a total of $1 million, to be split between Grand River Hospital's Regional Cancer Centre and the Odette Cancer Centre at Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital. For more on this event, visit Bill Bean's Take the Lane blog at http://therecord. blogs.com/take_the_lane/
Dinner with Armstrong spurs fundraising race
June 11, 2008
Johanna Weidner, RECORD STAFF
Cyclist Lance Armstrong, pictured during training in 2005, will be in Waterloo Region this weekend for a fundraising ride for cancer research.
Cycling star Lance Armstrong rolls into Waterloo Region this Saturday to raise money for cancer research.
Armstrong will be cycling the back roads with a select group of riders, who each raised at least $25,000 for the Ride with Lance fundraiser. Thirty-seven people, including 11 local riders, were registered by Monday. Jim Balsillie, Research In Motion's co-chief executive officer, is one of the top five fundraisers, with about $35,000 in pledges.
Balsillie helped organize the event to benefit the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre and the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto. The fundraiser was started by the Toronto hospital, and Grand River joined when Balsillie got on board and helped recruit Armstrong, said Nancy Hewat, executive director of the Grand River Hospital Foundation.
Balsillie cycled with Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor, at a Lake Louise cancer fundraiser last June.
"He's the catalyst to getting us involved," Hewat said.
It hasn't been decided how the money will be split between the cancer centres, she said. Local donors can direct their money to the Kitchener hospital.
On Friday night, Armstrong will speak to the riders briefly at a reception in Toronto. Each rider gets a chance to pedal side-by-side with Armstrong. The top five fundraisers get to sit with Armstrong at the dinner Saturday night. In the running for a spot at Armstrong's table is Ian Cook, president of Waterloo-based Cook Homes.
"It's one thing to be able to ride with Lance. It's another to be able to sit down with him," said Cook, who has raised more than $35,000.
Even before the 100-kilometre ride begins, the race is underway to raise the most money. "There's some competitive juices flowing," said Cook, 47.
He signed up for the event as soon as he read about it. "I pinch myself to think how lucky I am."
Beyond meeting Armstrong, Cook was thrilled by the personal challenge and the chance to help a good cause. He has been training on his bike and at the gym.
Designed by Canadian cycling legend Steve Bauer, the route is being kept secret by organizers.
Find out more or make donations at www.ridewithlance.ca.
For more details about this ride and other cycling highlights, visit Bill Bean's blog, Take The Lane.
Lance's Tour de Région; Lance Armstrong teams up with RIM's Jim Balsillie for a bicycle ride in Waterloo Region to raise more than $1.3 million for cancer centres
June 16, 2008
Greg Mercer and Charlotte Prong Parkhill; RECORD STAFF
Lance Armstrong (left) lent his star power and cycled with RIM’s Jim Balsillie (right) yesterday to lead a bike ride yesterday that raised more
than $1.3 million for the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital and the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre.
Morgan MacPhee of Elmira, 13, visits with Kate Hudson, left, and Lance Armstrong after the Tour de France champion led a ride through Waterloo Region on Saturday to benefit local cancer treatment.
On Saturday, Lance Armstrong (centre, in yellow and black) was joined by 40 riders at Ride With Lance, a fundraiser for Sunnybrook Hospital’s Odette Cancer Centre in Toronto and the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre in Cambridge.
With a police motorcade, gushing fans and throngs of photographers, the Lance Armstrong show wound its way through the region's back roads Saturday.
In his wake, the cycling world's biggest celebrity left behind over $1.3 million for local cancer treatment.
That was the sum collected by entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers and teenagers who raised more than $25,000 each for the chance to cycle 117 kilometres with the retired American athlete.
This was no Sunday jaunt. The secret route, which wound through North Dumfries' country roads, took just shy of four hours to complete under beaming sunshine.
Armstrong, joined at an earlier dinner by actor girlfriend Kate Hudson, lent his star power to an event that sparked a fundraising race for the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre and the Odette Cancer Centre at Toronto's Sunnybrook hospital.
His name not only attracted money, it drew quite a crowd, too. Dozens lined the road at the ride's starting point outside the Woerner House estate on Roseville Road, cheering wildly as the seven-time Tour de France winner bolted out of the gated compound and hit the road with his grinning entourage.
One fan arrived wearing a replica jersey of the U.S. Postal Service racing uniform that Armstrong once wore. The crowd peered down the estate's leafy drive, hoping to catch a glimpse of Armstrong at the pre-ride brunch.
Among those waiting at the gate was a very pregnant Maria Pegg, whose husband Shane, a sales manager and son of two cancer survivors, was riding in the group.
"If I go into labour, he'll have to go up and ask Lance to pick up the pace, and maybe swing by the hospital," joked Pegg.
Armstrong stuck with his pack for most of the route, rotating front-runners so everyone could have their photo taken with him. He signed the photos at the end of the ride, which wound back to the country estate on Roseville Road.
During the ride, after a few hours of keeping pace with the group of weekend warriors, Armstrong apparently decided to kick into a higher gear.
"Lance went by me so fast at one point, I thought he was one of the motorcycle cops," said Tom Wideman, a 47-year-old Kitchener restaurateur.
Morgan MacPhee, the 13-year-old Elmira boy who raised more than $10,000, marvelled that he saw Armstrong passing riders going uphill without using his hands -- while text-messaging on his cellphone.
Wideman said he and RIM co-chief executive Jim Balsillie -- a key factor in Armstrong's agreeing to do the event -- took 20 minutes to catch up to the group after stopping to fix a broken chain.
Balsillie had cycled with Armstrong at a Lake Louise cancer fundraiser last June, and used his connection to bring the celebrity here.
Only a week ago, 54-year-old rider Deb Gemmell didn't think she was going to get to be a part of the ride. The cycling enthusiast, diagnosed with breast cancer 18 months ago, desperately wanted to participate. She couldn't come up with the required $25,000.
Then, the Waterloo office of Canaccord Capital surprised her with the news they had come up with the money and registered her for the event.
Gemmell was honoured with the ride's coveted yellow jersey, traditionally given to the top fundraiser. It was presented to her by Armstrong and Perry Dellelce, who was the actual top fundraiser and co-chair of the event.
Gemmell is nearing the end of an exhausting schedule of surgery, radiation treatment and chemotherapy. Her treatment ends in September.
"Then we'll be back to normal," said her husband Jonathan Pearce.
The ride was "a dream come true for her," he added. "Lance Armstrong has always been an inspiration. Your attitude is the most important factor, and she's really positive."
One of the youngest riders was Mildmay's Isaac Wilkinson, 18. His mother Jackie was a patient at Grand River before she died of leukemia two months ago at age 48.
After her death, her son read about the Armstrong fundraiser. The teen bought a road bike and collected almost $30,000 around his small town, including money from a seven-year-old who asked for donations to Wilkinson's efforts in lieu of birthday presents.
Balsillie gets to share the joy during ride
June 16, 2008
Charlotte Prong Parkhill,RECORD STAFF
Moments after completing the Ride With Lance, Jim Balsillie compared the event to a wedding day.
Except this was a marriage of two of his passions -- cycling and philanthropy.
"I'm thrilled!" he said, gulping from his water bottle. "It was fun. It was really perfect."
The RIM billionaire and avid cyclist teamed up with Sunnybrook and Grand River hospitals to bring cancer survivor and seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong to the region.
The Grand River cancer clinic is named the Balsillie Family Building in honour of donations he and his wife have made.
"Heidi and I care a lot about health care and social services among other things . . . and this is a chance to help," he said. "Part of the fun for me was to fuse Grand River and Sunnybrook a little bit more, a research hospital and a clinical one."
Balsillie is connected to Armstrong through biking and BlackBerrys. Armstrong's racing team used the RIM Smartphone. Balsillie rode with Armstrong in a Calgary fundraiser. The pair kept in touch and got to know each other.
"He thinks I'm his tech support for his BlackBerry," Balsillie said.
Armstrong wasn't the only celebrity on the route. Tour de France commentator Phil Liggett and Canadian cyclist Steve Bauer also hit the road, on a course Bauer designed.
Balsillie has done plenty of long-distance rides but still found the day challenging. "The pace is tough. You try to stay in the peloton (main group) as much as you can," he said, wiping sweat out of his eyes. "Waterloo Region has a tremendous number of great riders."
He said conditions couldn't have been better. The weather was good, the countryside was beautiful, spectators along the way were nice and the police did a great job of keeping everyone safe.
For Balsillie, the day was one of the highlights in his life.
"Gordie Howe would be the only one that would measure up," he said. "So for me it's massive, a huge thrill."
When he was growing up, he always had big dreams for himself.
"And then when you get a little older, the great joy is doing it together and sharing. Your dreams become a different kind of dream."
Cycling summits aim to shape policy
August 28, 2009
By Brent Davis, Record staff
WATERLOO REGION — Waterloo and Kitchener will be the hub of the provincial cycling world in September, as the cities host a pair of summits for the two-wheeled community.
The Waterloo Inn will be the site for the first Ontario Bike Summit from Sept. 20 to 22. Presented by the Share the Road Cycling Coalition, the summit will bring together politicians, planners and advocates with the goal of shaping a provincial cycling policy in the coming years.
A few days later, the Chicopee Ski and Summer Resort will be the setting for the first Ontario Mountain Bike Summit, which will combine hands-on trail building activities with seminars and networking opportunities.
“We’ve got a growing and burgeoning interest in cycling here,” said Eleanor McMahon, who founded the Share the Road Cycling Coalition after her husband, Greg Stobbart, an OPP sergeant, was killed in an off-duty cycling collision in 2006.
McMahon feels it’s time Ontario developed a comprehensive bicycle policy, similar to ones already adopted by Quebec and British Columbia.
The Ontario Bike Summit, she said, “is a beginning of a conversation with government” on making that happen.
To that end, she has invited representatives from Ontario’s Liberal, Conservative, New Democratic and Green parties to participate in a panel discussion.
McMahon believes the main thing holding back more provinces and municipalities from undertaking cycling master plans is that they don’t know where to begin.
She’s hopeful speakers, including Andy Clarke, Executive Director of the League of American Bicyclists, and Cycling England chair Phillip Darnton, will share their ideas and experiences.
“Most major cities in the world have seized on cycling,” McMahon said, citing its health and environmental advantages. “Why can’t we increase its popularity here?”
Calling Waterloo an ideal host for the summit, McMahon credited the city with its efforts to incorporate cyclists’ needs and concerns into its planning processes.
Later that week, the mountain bikers will roll into Kitchener for their own event, which will include group rides and trail work on the Chicopee property.
But there’s also a political slant to this summit, hosted by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, as organizers look to create a provincial mountain biking federation that can address the cyclists’ concerns on a wider scale.
“It can be very locally focused. We can target those issues we’re facing in our areas . . . but every jurisdiction is different,” said Jason Murray, one of the summit’s co-ordinators.
“We want to get everybody in the room,” said Murray, who will also be speaking at the Ontario Bike Summit.
Topics will include building bike parks and sustainable trails, organizing clubs and working with land managers. The latest film in the New World Disorder series will also have its Canadian premiere during the event.
Organizers chose Kitchener as an “attractive” location, with bike parks at Chicopee and McLennan Park and strong clubs in Waterloo and Guelph.
Murray said the two summits complement each other. “I think it does speak to the surging popularity (of cycling).
“We’re worried about rising gas prices, environmental impact, sustainability, childhood and adult obesity . . . They all seem to intersect with ‘Go ride a bike.’”
Registration for the Ontario Bike Summit begins at $140 per person, while the mountain bike summit costs $75.
For more information, visit the summit websites at www.sharetheroad.ca and http://go.imba.com/ontariosummit.
I believe this was a ride to raise cycling awareness.
Cyclists (King & John) - March 26, 2010 4:50PM
PROPOSED RETAIL SALES TAX EXEMPTION FOR ALL HUMAN-POWERED CYCLES
REGION OF WATERLOO PLANNING, HOUSING AND COMMUNITY SERVICES
TO: Chair Jim Wideman and Members of the Planning and Works Committee
DATE: April 6, 2010
Report: P-10-033 - http://region.waterloo.on.ca/web/reg...df?openelement
THAT the Regional Municipality of Waterloo authorize the Regional Chair to send a letter to the Provincial Minister of Finance, requesting the following, as described in Report No. P-10-033, dated April 6, 2010:
THAT the Retail Sales Tax exemption on bicycle sales continue when the Harmonized Sales Tax comes into effect and remain beyond its slated expiration date of December 31, 2010;
THAT the Province of Ontario extend the exemption to all human-powered cycles so that mobility restricted individuals can also benefit;
THAT the Province also extend the exemption to the first $1,000 for all cycles;
THAT should the exemption not be extended, the Province apply all revenues from the Harmonized Sales Tax on the sale of cycles to funding cycling infrastructure projects;
AND THAT this request be sent to the Federal and Provincial Ministries responsible for transportation, local MPs and MPPs, and to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)
Since the Province of Ontario made changes in 2007 to the Retail Sales Tax Act that exempted bicycles under $1000 from the Provincial Sales Tax, the Province and its Municipalities have gained momentum in promoting cycling as an active transportation choice. The Provincial Sales Tax (PST) exemption is slated to end on December 31, 2010, and it is unknown how the exemption will be handled under the new Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). Given the success of the program to date and the importance of encouraging cycling activity, the Regional Cycling Advisory Committee is recommending that Regional Council encourage the Province to continue the retail sales tax exemption for cycle purchases under the new HST and past the current program’s end date. Regional staff support this recommendation and have added a recommendation that, should the exemption not be extended, the Province uses all revenues from the Harmonized Sales Tax on the sale of cycles to fund cycling infrastructure projects.
Given the aging population demographics and the cost of specialized cycles for the elderly and those with mobility restrictions, it is also suggested that the Province expand the current program to include all human-powered cycles and a retail sales tax exemption on the first $1000 of all cycles, regardless of the total purchase price. In the event that the Province is unable to extend and expand the program, it is recommended that the Province use all revenues from the HST on the sale of cycles to fund cycling infrastructure projects.
The Region of Waterloo and the Area Municipalities have invested in bike lanes and trails for transportation, public health, and recreational purposes. The Region has made significant progress expanding cycling networks, with over 71 km added since 2007, and will continue to work towards accelerating the construction of planned routes. Encouraging the use of new and existing cycling facilities is an objective of the new Regional Transportation Master Plan (RTMP), as identified through public consultation.
Grand River Hospital is proud to welcome Lance Armstrong back to Ontario for an unprecedented third Ride with Lance.
This event is an exciting, rare opportunity for cyclists to ride with, and spend a day in the company of cancer survivor and seven-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong.
On Saturday, August 28, 2010, Lance Armstrong will take to the road with an exclusive group of cyclists in the fight against cancer.
This unique event is taking place in support of cancer programs and patient care for those living with cancer in Ontario.
Registered riders commit to raising a minimum of $20,000 to ride with Lance.
To sign up, riders must submit a non-refundable registration fee of $1,500 with the registration form. This fee applies towards your fundraising commitment, but under Canada Revenue Agency rules is not tax-deductible (it represents "benefits received" by each rider).
For more information please contact Grand River Hospital Foundation at 519-749-4205 or email@example.com.
Bike shop giving away free rides to worthy riders
April 15, 2010
Terry Pender, Record staff
KITCHENER — Margaret Pachnik wants to know how a new hybrid bicycle that retails for $750 could change your life.
Pachnik, the owner of Ziggy’s Cycle in downtown Kitchener, is giving away 25 bikes to the winners of an essay contest the store is running to celebrate a quarter century in business.
She said she wanted to mark the important anniversary in a way that promotes fitness, health, sustainable cities and give back to the community.
Pachnik said the store is hoping to get people who do not currently ride bikes, but want to start commuting to work on a bike, running errands on a bike, lose weight or help the environment.
The reaction was almost immediate after the Waterloo Region Freewheels Project was announced on March 25.
“We have quite a lot of essays,” Pachnik said.
Visit www.ziggycycle.ca to get an application form. Essays and applications can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the store at 417 King St. West, Kitchener, N2G 1C2.
All essays must be in by May 7 and focus on the question—how would a new bicycle change your life? The winners will be called into the store for measurements so the proper size bike—a Cannondale Quick 4—can be ordered. Every winner gets a helmet, bell, kick stand and riding lessons along with the new bicycle.
More than half of the people who have submitted 300-word essays so far are women and their workplace is 10 to 15 kilometres from home.
“For our store it is quite an investment, but we feel good about it,” Pachnik said.
The store has posted notices on Facebook and Twitter. It has also notified some of the region’s biggest employers — RIM, Toyota and Schneider’s.
“We would like people from different walks of life and different professions,” she said.
The 25 winners will be asked to blog about their riding experiences and the changes in their lives. They will be asked to write about good and bad cycling routes and where improvements are needed. It is hoped this will lead to more people riding bicycles for commuting and errands.
I don't like some of the bike lanes that are going up on roads. I REALLY dislike having bike lanes that go in the middle of intersections, especially bigger roads like the bike lane that goes through the middle of University Ave. I find it very dangerous to bike in these areas and refuse to bike on the road. I like biking on the sidewalk, especially since not lots of people use them on some streets. Safer bike lanes are needed.
Maybe we should be demanding segregated cycling infrastructure?
The Region is putting together its guidelines for regional roads right now, and regional arterial roads are the most important for cycling infrastructure. Please let them know soon what you want to see required or recommended for the roads and why. (There's a comment sheet at the link.)
I agree with not liking bike lanes in the middle of the intersection. I always bike on the sidewalk by Caroline/Erb because I've been almost hit being in the lane turning left at that intersection. I use trails mostly when I bike but I do use the sidewalks more then the "busy" roads. If someone is walking I just slow down and give them room. No one has ever gave me attitude for doing so.
I think that there should be legislation in place forbidding bikers to bike on a road where the speed limit of that road is above 60 (with no bike lanes present). I have seen a number of bikers cycling down Homer Watson (no bike lane or shoulder) where most vehicles are travelling at greater than 80km/h. Needless to say it is a very dangerous situation. The speed differential between cars and bikes is too great and I have witnessed a number of bikers nearly get annihilated by passing vehicles. The enourmous traffic density on Homer Watson during rush hour worsens this problem since cars often cannot change lanes easily.
Last edited by Urbanomicon; 04-18-2010 at 12:15 PM.
"Only the insane have the strength enough to prosper. Only those that prosper may truly judge what is sane."
I would prefer having the road, curb, then bike lane, then sidewalk. This way drivers wouldn't have to worry about bikers and bikers wouldn't have to worry about drivers.
If we do segregated cycling infrastructure, we cannot avoid the more difficult part of it -- intersections. How do we do that in a way that actually works for cyclists?