A group of 20 cyclists will bike an incredible 540 kilometers from Toronto to Montreal in just two days to raise funds for Barrie’s Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s (RVH) cancer centre.
This fourth annual charity ride, known as Equipe ’78, is a summer tradition for passionate cyclists with a penchant for charitable causes including pro racing cyclist and two time Pan America medalist, Sean MacKinnon who is a participant.
The riders are each required to raise funds for charity and this year’s proceeds will be directed to supporting new technology at RVH’s Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre. The riders will suit up this year to honour Jackie Herbst, a three time cancer survivor. The organizers of Equipe ’78 were inspired by Jackie’s husband Mark and his cycling partner Paul Millar who participated in the famously difficult Race Across America this past June, also raising funds for cancer services at RVH in honour of Jackie.
Anthony Monastero, co-founder and main organizer of the ride, says the cyclists are mostly weekend warriors so being part of the journey is incredibly challenging and also a huge thrill they look forward to each year. “Significant training, clean eating, and healthy habits are a must to be physically ready for the trek,” he adds.
“Riding with a purpose is important to us and knowing our hard work helps others is really rewarding,” says Monastero. “While we all come from different walks of life and professions, we really connect as a team over those two days to ensure we stay organized, safe and collaboratively enjoy the amazing achievement of finishing this epic super grand fondo as a group.”
“Advancing cancer services at RVH ensure residents of North Simcoe Muskoka can get the care they need, closer to home,” says Eric Dean, CEO of the RVH Foundation.” “Not only does this alleviate the stress and burden of lengthy travel, it means they can be closer to their family, friends and support system. We are very grateful to the Equipe ’78 riders for their incredible efforts and generosity, and for helping RVH advance the technology and facilities our physicians and caregivers rely on in caring for their patients”.
The ride, generously sponsored by Racer Sportif, Monacom Productions, Memnon and Mattamy Homes, will begin at the Ajax Go Station on Friday, August 23, departing at 9 a.m., riding along the St. Lawrence River to Montreal. Media is invited to meet or photograph the riders any time between 7:45 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. prior to the start of their ride.
To support the riders, visit foundation.rvh.on.ca and click on upcoming events.