Last year, the Soul Cyclers set their sights on raising $10,000, though the official goal for teams in the hospice fundraiser was half that.
As the Cycle of Life Tour in July neared, they kept raising their target for the fundraiser, ending up with roughly $26,000, falling just shy of being the top team at raising money.
“We had this competition with Nanaimo,” says member Paula Anderson, who jokes that this year they’d like win that “ugly trophy.”
For the 2019 Cycle for Life Tour, they hope to raise $30,000, and they’ve started a number of fundraising events to generate money for the July bike ride. Most of the team members are either Campbell River Hospice Society volunteers or have been helped by hospice because of the death of someone close to the them.
On April 28, the team held a barn/yard sale at which they sold second-items and bags of manure. As the event was winding down, they had sold 30 bags of manure and, along with the proceeds from the second-hand goods, they had brought in more than $1,000.
“We have four fundraisers in four weeks,” says Anderson.
This weekend, they will be set up at the home show at Strathcona Gardens May 3-5.
As well, they have partnered with Two Rivers Specialty Meats to sell meat packs as another fundraising source. People can see the meat packs and order online through the Two Rivers site until May 20.
Finally, volunteers will be setting up at Quality Foods on May 25 and 26.
“We’re raising the profile of hospice, but also taking pledges,” says team captain Kelly Fisher, who led last year’s team after riding the event solo in 2017.
The Soul Cyclers are also training, which will step up through June and into July, as the event nears closer.
There are some new faces, and other back from last year, and they are again wearing Soul Cyclers T-shirts for the ride.
“We were the only team last year that had matching shirts,” says Anderson.
The Cycle of Life Tour again follows the same route as last year. An estimated 125 riders will take part, coming from communities across Vancouver Island on July 20 and 21. They will ride through areas such as Saanich Inlet, Cowichan Valley and Salt Spring Island, covering almost 200 kilometres “of smooth country road” to promote hospice and raise funds for programs to help patients needing compassionate end-of-life care and their families.
The first ride was started in 2011 by Graham Robertson, who rode alone from Alaska to Victoria to raise support for Victoria Hospice. It quickly became a Vancouver Island event and, to date, has raised more than $700,000 for hospice programs on the Island.