If there were official Team Sixcycle-RK&O rules, the first rule would be “everyone races” and the second, equally important, team rule would be “everyone volunteers their love for the sport, at least once a year, towards a worthy cause”. To the latter point, since its inception our team has been extremely focused on giving back by participating and raising funds to causes that are close to our hearts, in particular via the Tour of the Litchfield Hills.
Earlier this year Team Sixcycle-RK&O rider Daniel Cleiman was invited by his employer, Credit Suisse, to raise funds and ride north of the border for a great event: the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, which directly benefits The Campbell Family Institute at the Princess Margaret Hospital.
Team Credit Suisse ultimately raised over $200,000 and, perhaps just as importantly, got 53 employees on bikes and in shape to ride over 220 kilometers in two days.
Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer Ride Report
June 7th was the first day of the ride. I arrived at the start line with my partner in crime, Meghan Schloat from CityMD Women’s Racing Team, at around 6:30am. It was a beautiful day and thousands of people were already at the “staging area” right by Lake Ontario.
Despite the expected 5,212 riders, registration was quick and smooth, and took us less than 10 minutes to get our event packets and ride numbers. Once registered, we proceeded to fuel up for the day ahead of us. And fueling up we did, as a massive breakfast spread was provided for all participating riders with Starbucks coffee, hot egg sandwiches, nutrition bars, and a huge selection of sports drinks and snacks for the road.
The first day of riding was fantastic, with a few tough rollers, but amazing company and a cheerful mood. The ride started in downtown Toronto and ended in Hamilton, Ontario (around 120 km). An unexpected surprise on Day 1 was running into Jason Simmons (a local rep for Louis Garneau) at the finish expo, who was on the lookout for a Team Sixcycle rider on a LG Gennix R1 after the team posted some Instagram pictures. And on that note, I lost count of the number of compliments that I received on our team kits from Louis Garneau and our Dream Factory bike frames!
Day 2 of the charity ride picked up again from Hamilton, Ontario, and this time stretched to Niagara Falls. The course profile was much flatter, much more rural, and highly scenic. Apart from the sprawling meadows and Canadian farmland, we also passed through the wine regions of Niagara.
Not to mention, the entire ride culminated in an epic view of the famous Niagara Falls. As we approached the finish line, hundreds of people were lined up behind barricades – just like a pro race, cheering each participant on by their first names, and offering up an unbelievable amount of support for everyone involved in the ride.
Overall, a wonderful experience for an exceptional cause! I highly recommend that anyone looking for a challenge sign up for next year’s ride!