Pedalling for a good cause


A McMaster-based team of pedal pushers is participating in the Big Bike Ride for Stroke today. A team from the Health Sciences Centre (HSC) joins one from the Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation (HHSC) and 18 others in the three-kilometre route through Westdale.

What makes this fundraiser unique is the type of bicycle being used – it's a 30-seater! “It's definitely a lot of fun for participants,” says Blair Leonard, volunteer co-ordinator.

Local corporations and groups have responded positively to the challenge, sponsored by the Hamilton chapter of the Heart & Stroke Foundation. A 29-person team is needed to supply the leg power for the half-hour ride. Leonard explains that the lead person, who actually steers the bike, is someone who has had experience with a multiple-seat bicycle. The bike, manufactured by Parsons Marketing of Calgary, is too long and unwieldy for an inexperienced person to handle, he says.

All proceeds go toward stroke research. Leonard notes that the fundraiser has particular relevance this year. Hamilton is one of four centres in Ontario which received funding from the provincial government for a co-ordinated stroke initiative into research and health promotion.

Spectators and supporters are encouraged to come to Mitchell Crescent (behind the track field) to view the bike and cheer on their teams. The bike rides will take place between 8 and 11 a.m. and from 4 to 7:30 p.m. (The HSC team takes its turn at 10:30 a.m.)