Southwest Challenge Cycling Tour raises money the Children's Health Foundation of London
London Community News
Weather conditions could have been better and it would have been nicer if the roads weren’t as slippery, but the money raised for the Southwest Challenge Cycling Tour on Saturday was ideal.
More than 70 people participated in the 170-kilometre trek, starting the cycling at West Park Church parking lot, on Gainsborough Road, and travelling through the quiet countryside of London, Middlesex and Oxford.
Another 20 people, not so sure about the long ride, were bussed to Embro, Ont. where they waited for the first cyclists and then biked back to the starting line with the endurance athletes for the last 100 km.
In what has been a dry and humid summer, Saturday’s rainy morning didn’t put a damper on the event.
“It’s probably the worst weather of the whole year,” said Jeff Scott, a member of London Centennial Wheelers who helped put on the Southwest Challenge, along with the London Cycling Club. “I’ve dealt with riding in the really, really cold too, so you just have to dress properly.”
This is the first year for the Middlesex bike tour, in what Scott is hoping will become an annual event.
If the money garnished from the Southwest Challenge is any indication of how long it will last, the long distance cycling event could be here for a long time with more than $30,000 raised. All proceeds went to the Children’s Health Foundation of London.
“The Children’s Hospital of southwestern Ontario did a lot for our family, so this is a small way to give back,” said William Pol, a member of the London Cycling Club whose son had surgery at the Forest City facility when he was a child. “It’s a great way to combine my passion for cycling with a good cause.”
Pol, 54, has cycled around 3,500 km over the course of this summer, so 150 km plus a little extra wasn't that hard for him.
“I’m biking home, actually," Pol said. “I live about three km from here, so hopefully I’ll have a coffee, talk to people afterwards and then bicycle home.”