Nine enthusiastic cyclists conquered Sutton Pass twice last week to promote healthy living.
The RE/MAX Ride the Rim team left Port Alberni at 7:15 a.m. on May 10 and arrived at Ucluelet’s RE/MAX Mid-Island Realty office around noon where they were treated to lunch and received a $500 donation.
“We’re excited to host the riders every year, they work really hard for the cause,” said RE/MAX’s Marcie Gray. “It’s a really long distance and a really hard ride.”
The ride was launched by Robin Nadig about 16 years ago as a way to combat Type 2 diabetes in youth by educating them about sugar content in their food and encouraging them to eat well and be active.
“What we were seeing was that Type 2 diabetes in children was growing, but we also knew that it was preventable,” she said. ““My passion is cycling, so that’s how I wanted to reach out to kids.”
For the ride’s first 10 years, Nadig and her team cycled across Vancouver Island over a six-day trek, visiting schools and events along the way to promote healthy living. To get themselves pumped up for their Island-wide experience, the riders cycled from Port Alberni to Ucluelet and back about a week prior to the main event. While the Island-wide ride is no longer held, the Port Alberni to Ucluelet ride remains.
“I did it for the children and for the love of the sport,” team member Bryce Blake told the Westerly News after arriving in Ucluelet on Friday. “I feel people afflicted with this terrible disease need as much support as possible and we’re fighting for a cure each and every day.”
“It’s important to help people because maybe one day you might need help,” added fellow team member Chris Daradics.
Collin Sim said his brother is battling diabetes and it’s important to help kids understand how they can prevent being inflicted by it themselves.
“It’s a great ride and it’s for a good cause,” he said. “I love it. We look forward to this every year.”
Roberta Wilson said she has a passion for setting difficult goals for herself and achieving them and that the cause was an important one to promote.
“People need to be aware of how sugar affects children. So, we need to raise money to raise awareness of sugar and how people just overdo it.”
Mike Parcher said the toughest part of the ride into Ucluelet was pushing already sore legs over the numerous inclines around Hydro Hill.
“I love cycling. There’s nothing like it. I guess the adrenaline is what keeps me going,” he said.
Nadig said local RE/MAX owners Judy Gray and Carl Scott have been a tremendous support for the ride’s entire 16-year history.
“They’ve sponsored us every year,” she said. “Carl and Judy are amazing. They support so many activities….They’ve just been terrific.”