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Toronto cyclist will race across America to support veterans

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Toronto cyclist will race across America to support veterans

Post by Loader on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 09:52

Julien Gignac, Staff Reporter - Thu., June 15, 2017

Canada's Race Across America team stands in front of a recreational vehicle that will be used to accommodate their journey. They are riding 4,800 kilometres to support veterans.  (Supplied photo)  

When Brady Jones’ uncle organized a bicycle ride from Gatineau to Toronto, he started a chain reaction that would last for many years to come.

“We did that about 10 years ago, and we’ve been riding together ever since,” said Jones about himself and his long-time friends. “We’ve rode from Toronto to New York City. We’ve rode from Montreal to Boston. As we got better at it, we started to ask, ‘Well, what’s the next big challenge? Then we started reading and hearing about (Race Across America).”

RAAM, as it’s sometimes called, is a strenuous, non-stop international bicycling race that shoots across the U.S. in record time. The eight member team from Toronto and Collingwood are not racing for the adrenalin kick alone, though: they are raising awareness — and money — for former and current Canadian soldiers.

The group aims to raise $200,000 for veterans and their families. They have raised $105,000 so far, said Jones, who lives in the Yonge and Lawrence area. All proceeds will go to the True Patriot Love Foundation, a national charity.

“Our veterans aren’t talked about as much as they should be,” he said. “I don’t think they’re supported as much as they should be. We thought the 150th anniversary of Confederation and
100th year of Vimy Ridge would be a great year to raise awareness for our veterans.”

The team will depart from Oceanside, Calif., on June 17 and arrive in Annapolis, Md., a 4,800-kilometre trip. And they want to beat a previous record set by an all-Canadian team, which clocked in at six days, two hours and 21 minutes, said Brady. Those riding in a group have nine days to complete the journey, according to RAAM’s website.

“We want to beat those guys,” said Jones. “We’ve been training very hard for the past year. Our team, of the eight guys, we’ve lost 165 pounds. For every day guys we’re in great shape at the moment.”

Four cyclists will be travelling at all times; four others will be carried in a recreational vehicle — a relay, simply put. After a 20 to 30 minute time frame — and possibly a short nap — rubber meets asphalt.
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Location : Trenton Ontario
Registration date : 2017-02-07

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