The 2020 Comox Bike Company YANA Ride has been transformed into a fully flexible, chart your own course ride format observing current social distancing guidelines. Photo supplied

2020 YANA Ride ‘reinvented’ to conform with COVID-19 guidelines

Registration for the reinvented 2020 Comox Bike Company YANA Ride is now open.

Instead of the charity’s signature summer event that brings hundreds of riders and volunteers together, the eighth annual ride has been transformed into a fully flexible, ‘chart your own course’ ride format observing social distancing guidelines.

From expert cyclists to biking beginners, the 15-day event encourages riders of all ages and abilities to hop on their bikes and fundraise for YANA families. The fully flexible ride means participants choose when they ride anytime between Aug. 1-15, whether it is one day or multiple days. They also choose where they ride. From roads or trails to living rooms and tracks, 1 km or 1,000 km, the choices are unlimited. Participants even choose what they want to ride. From road bikes and mountain bikes to gravel bikes, e-bikes and trikes. If it has wheels and pedals, it is perfect for this ride.

“The news of not being able to hold our traditional event that raised $80,000 last year hit pretty hard,” said YANA board president Kelly Rusk. “It’s been really inspiring to see our volunteer organizers pivot the ride format so quickly, and to see how people are jumping right on board. The flexibility we’ve had to use this year has actually really opened things up. We have mountain bikers planning to ride the trails, a family in Ontario registered, and we’ve even heard about an 80-year-old grandpa in England who’s planning to ride his stationary bike for his grandsons’ team. It’s all pretty incredible!”

YANA supported over 600 medical trips last year and provided $322,876 in funding and accommodation support. In 2019, funds raised from the ride covered more than half the accommodation costs for children and pregnant mothers needing to travel out of our community for medical reasons.

“We are so thankful for the support our riders, sponsors and donors are showing for our families,” said YANA executive director Kelly Barnie. “So many families are facing financial challenges now that they never have before. The last thing we want any family worrying about is whether they can afford to get their child the medical care they need. Our fundraising events and donations allow us to promise the community that we’ll be there for them no matter what. Every kilometre cycled and every dollar raised makes sure we can keep that promise.”

All registered riders who are raising funds for YANA will be rewarded with prizes. Every single rider bringing in donations will receive a prize or gift card donated by or purchased at a local business using sponsorship funds.

The top 300 fundraising riders will receive an original design 2020 T-shirt thanks to Comox Bike Company YANA Ride sponsor, Dr. Andreas Conradi.

The ride will run from Aug. 1-15. Registrations are now open.

To sign up, sponsor a rider or get more information about the Comox Bike Company YANA Ride, visit yanacomoxvalley.com

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