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Cycling for a cause

Friends for Life Bike Rally departs Sunday

Biking from Toronto to Montreal would seem crazy to some, except for the 316 riders already registered to do the trek for charity and HIV/AIDS awareness.
 
The Friends for Life Bike Rally is in its 13th year, with the largest goals and registered riders in the event’s history. The cyclists are riding to raise money for Toronto People with AIDS Foundation (TPWAF). This year’s goal is $1.4 million, attempting to surpass last year’s $1.23 million raised.
 
“Six hundred kilometres is no small feat,” says Kevin Gerber, director of development and communications with PWA, which may be why the event is such a smashing success.
 
More than 100 volunteer crew members are helping the riders in their six-day journey, raising energy and providing support through Port Hope, Kingston and other cities and small towns along the way. The event began as a dare between two people and has grown into the second-largest fundraiser for HIV/AIDS in Canada.
 
“Many riders have a personal connection with HIV/AIDS,” says Gerber. With 66 percent of Ontario’s HIV-positive test results recorded here in Toronto, awareness and money raised for organizations like TPWAF have become even more important.
 
Gerber says that people from all across the GTA are participating, as well as some from Ottawa and the US.
 
On Sunday, July 24 at 8am, come out to Queen’s Park to cheer on the riders as they leave on their adventure.
 
Check out bikerally.org for more information. And see Xtra‘s previous coverage here.