Sylvan Lake served as the end point for an Edmonton man’s charity ride on July 23.
Douglas Bell, 60, is taking a 400 kilometre solo ride from Edmonton and back as part of the Tour of Hope to raise money for the Kids with Cancer Society.
The society usually hosts an organized group ride every year to fundraise money and raise awareness, but this year’s ride was cancelled because of COVID-19.
“We have the opportunity to meet some of the kids and they’re the whole reason we do it,” said Bell in a phone interview after day one of his ride. “They’re just fabulous and they’re a real inspiration and that’s kind of why I’ve been riding for a couple of years now with them.”
With the adopted motto “cancer doesn’t stop so neither do we” the usual group of riders set out on their own routes to help the society with fundraising.
Bell decided to take the trip from Edmonton to Sylvan Lake because his brother lives in town.
The trip down took two days with an overnight stop in Pigeon Lake and he will follow the same pattern on his return to Edmonton after spending an off day in Sylvan Lake.
During his off day he and his brother plan to do some sailing out on the lake.
“My goal is to make 400 kilometres in four days and try to raise some money, so I’m a little over $4,000 in sponsorships for the ride,” explained Bell, adding he is happy with the number, but would like to do a little bit better.
“I’m not quite done yet so we’ll see what I can get up to.”
His original fundraising goal was $3,400 and after surpassing the number he decided to up the goal to five or $6,000.
Donations can be made online to either the Tour of Hope as a whole or to individual riders. Sponsorship’s for Bell’s ride can be made to Douglas Bell’s page on the Kids with Cancer website.
Bell will be heading out of town to start his journey home on July 25 and he says to give him a wave if you see him.
“One of the nice things about riding is you see the sights,” Bell explained. “On a bike you’re looking around and you’re seeing it and you’re smelling everything too.”
“You’re senses are all heightened, you’re just kind of enjoying it and feeling it all and just absorbing it all in.”
Bell picked biking back up about five years ago after a hiatus beginning back in his teenage years. He says he enjoys the exercise part of it better than going to the gym as well as getting out and travelling.