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Friends for Life cyclists love ‘the longest day’ through Prince Edward County

Mayor Robert Quaiff and councillors Steve Ferguson and Gord Fox provided a hydration station for cyclists as they waited to board the Glenora Ferry.

More than 200 cyclists wheeled through Prince Edward County Monday, participating in the 20th annual Friends For Life Bike Rally which raises about $1 million annually for the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation.

Jordan and Dempsey take a break before boarding the Glenora Ferry.

Day two is dubbed ‘The Longest Day’ of the six – a 130.9km ride from Port Hope, through Prince Edward County and over to Adolphustown.

“Day two is long, but it is very beautiful; we love it,” said Jordan, who is riding alongside Dempsey.

This is the fifth year they have made the journey.

“We ride because PWA is an amazing organization,” said Jordon. “They provide direct services to clients in the community so for Dempsey and I, who have done the ride for five years now, we’ve been able to see the very real, direct impact the ride has had.”

The two also race their bikes so are well trained for the six-day journey.

“If you train well, and feel well, it’s all very manageable. The breaks are about 30km apart so the ride itself is management but you have to be prepared for it.”

For the third year, Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff, and councillors Steve Ferguson and Gord Fox provided a hydration station at the Glenora Ferry.

As they filled water bottles, the three chatted with the cyclists and in between, with the motorists waiting to catch the ferry.

“We meet a lot of people, and many of them we know from the previous years,” said Quaiff. “Some tell us they came back here to spend holidays.”

“Between ferry rides, I took the time to talk to people lined up in their cars from Quebec, Sweden, Texas, Nebraska, and New York, all of whom loved their time in PEC,” said Ferguson. “Time very well spent.”

Their journey began Sunday, July 29 in Toronto, and ends Friday, Aug. 3 in Montreal with a final group cheer for the accomplishment.

Over the 20 years the rally has engaged more than 3,800 participants and crew and raised more than $15,000 for PWA. Funds provide critical services and support to people living with HIV/AIDS, in Toronto.

Three hundred new clients register with PWA each year. They receive practical support – food, financial assistance, vitamin supplements; help with accessing government programs, medical referrals and health and therapeutic care as well as skills development, social connection and outreach.

Meanwhile, the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure cyclists were also rolling through the County, also on a six-day adventure. About 150 GWTA riders started in Cobourg and made several stops in the County before spending the night here. The ride is intended to showcase Ontario as a world-class cycling destination and help cyclists connect with the many communities along the waterfront trail.

Filed Under: Featured ArticlesSports & Recreation

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  1. Bill McMahon says:

    Yesterday between 11:30 am & 2:00 pm some 245 PWA Friends for Life Bike Rally cyclists plus 95 crew members of this annual event had lunch at the former Henderson House B&B in Consecon. Chantale Grondin and her late partner Heather Marr have hosted this lunchtime gathering for the past 14 years with the help of a dozen or so Consecon volunteers. It boggles the mind that this event has come to and through the County for 20 years, stopped for their lunch break in Consecon (the first 6 years in the United Church parking lot) yet when 3 members of Council caught on to this annual 6 day fundraising trek from Toronto to Montreal a couple of years ago and decided to hang out at the Glenora Ferry to replenish the cyclists water needs, has the media taken any notice. It would be a nice gesture to have the media make the trek up to the Northwest of The County to catch a glimpse of community spirit and camaraderie Consecon Style.

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