Jeff Taylor and Paul Stevens, also known as Team Muskoka, have just returned from cycling across the country in support of kids’ cancer research. Together they raised a combined total of more than $50,000.
They were part of the National Kids Cancer Ride organized by the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation, which raises money to support childhood cancer research as well as programs to support children and their families affected by the disease.
“We got involved with the charity about seven years ago through a friend’s of Paul’s whose son is a cancer survivor,” said Taylor. “We signed up for the Coast to Coast event in January 2018 after having been riding road bikes for about 10 years. We fundraised and trained all of last year but then unfortunately the ride was cancelled in August due to some logistical issues so we both decided to sign up again and complete the ride this year.”
The ride began on September 4 in White Rock, BC and finished on September 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
There were 15 riders in total and another 15 that formed a support crew. Support vehicles included four RVs, two Penske cube vans, and a transport truck with a 50-foot trailer outfitted with bunk beds where riders slept each night.
“It was a ride and drive set up,” said Taylor. “We rode our bikes approximately 150 kilometres each day then shuttled in the RVs anywhere from 200 to 400 kilometres each night to our sleeping spot. We slept in parking lots of community centres, shopping malls, parks, etc. Our typical day would start at 6 a.m. with breakfast at 6:30 and on the bikes by around 7:30. Every day started with a dedication to a child affected by cancer.”
They would take a break about every 50km. Many of the breaks were sponsored by local families in the communities they stopped in.
“We met so many fantastic people along the way,” said Taylor. “Paul’s mom organized the stop we had in her hometown of Enderby, BC. We made stops at children’s hospitals along the way to support the cause and meet some children and families affected by cancer and to witness some of the great things being accomplished by fundraising dollars raised.” The hospital stops included Vancouver, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Toronto, Kingston and Halifax.
At the end of their ride, both men’s wives surprised them in Halifax.
Taylor said the support they’ve received both from the community of Huntsville as well as Canada-wide has been incredible.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!