Inside Ride to support families facing childhood cancer journey

Canada-wide indoor cycling fundraiser to help fund the Parents Association's Island-based Family Support Program.

Eight-year-old René Soto energetically practices for the upcoming Inside Ride fundraiser this Sunday

The Inside Ride comes to City Centre Park in Langford on Sunday (Oct. 26), with colourful costumes, blaring music and enthusiastic riders pedalling their hearts out to raise money for the B.C. Childhood Cancer Parents Association.

The event is part of a Canada-wide indoor cycling fundraiser put on by the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation. One hundred per cent of funds raised will go to the Parents Association’s Island-based Family Support Program.

“Our goal this year is $20,000,” says event organizer Susan Kerr, who’s also the association’s Vancouver Island liaison.

Besides the Family Support Program, which supplies emergency financial aid, social and emotional support and practical assistance to children with cancer and their families, funds will go toward the new pediatric oncology wing at Victoria General Hospital.

“Supporting families both financially and emotionally is crucial,” says Julia Taylor, whose eight-year-old son, René, has been in active treatment for four years. “By lowering the parents’ stress level, you’re allowing the fabric of the family to stay together.”

Taylor and her family’s team The Spinsationals have been involved with the Inside Ride since its inception in 2012. “It’s a really simple way to make a huge difference,” she says of the event.

This is the third year that Coast to Coast has partnered with BCCCPA to host the Inside Ride. The hour-long relay, which kicks off at 10:30 a.m., challenges each member of the teams to ride for 10 minutes before passing the pedals over to the next person.

“Everybody thinks you have to ride as hard as you can and as fast as you can, but that’s not the case,” says Kerr. “You have five people who are waiting for you, so your team is dancing around you as you’re riding and there’s conga lines snaking everywhere.”

Coast to Coast brings their own DJ, blasting high energy music from wall to wall. At the end of the ride, prizes are given out for best costumes, the most mileage and the best fundraiser team. “It’s such a fun event,” Kerr says.

Teams of four to six people are still welcome to register for the ride, being hosted for the first time at City Centre Park to accommodate a larger turnout.

To sign up a team or donate visit victoria.theinsideride.com, or for more information, email Kerr at s.kerr@bcccpa.org.

acowan@goldstreamgazette.com