The fundraising goal was met, and the event reached capacity in terms of participant numbers.
And — as always — the spirit was evident in abundance at the annual Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride Sunday in Comox. Marcie Dumais — executive director of the Valley charity — was still overwhelmed with emotion Monday morning.
“There’s a feeling when that many people come together for something they all care about,” Dumais said. “Little passings have huge significance. For instance, running into a rider wearing a very, very special jersey. Or families that are out there riding for other families, and people that they care deeply about.”
“It’s an incredible privilege for Simon’s Cycles to be part of this event,” committee director Patti Fletcher said. “The community support is amazing. It’s a real honour to be a part of it…It exceeded our expectations in every way.”
The fourth annual ride sponsored by Simon’s Cycles attracted 600 cyclists and raised more than $45,000 for You Are Not Alone (YANA) — which provides accommodation and funding to families needing to access medical treatment for their children, or an expectant mother, outside the Valley.
Fundraising estimates were around $55,000 on Monday morning.
Riding routes included a 25-, 50- and 100-kilometre ride. There was also a 6km family loop, and a run/bike race for little ones not yet using pedals.
“This was the first time the 50k was the best attended,” Dumais said.
There were 188 cyclists in the 50k, 177 in the 100k, 168 in the family ride and 66 in the 25k.
Dumais notes the “continued popularity of the family loop.
“It’s families supporting families, and doing something fun and active together. The shift we’re seeing is people that were riding the 25 seem to be pushing up to riding the 50k loop.”
Dumais thanks the approximate 150 volunteers and 44 sponsors who contributed to the event.
“That energy down there is wonderful,” she said. “My heart is really full.”
The registration site will remain open until the end of August, for those wishing to pledge a cyclist.
For more information, visit yanacomoxvalley.com or call 250-871-0343.