Special to The Record
Seven-year-old Sophie Clark will ride 25 kilometres on Aug. 16 to raise funds for YANA.
What started out as a way to help save the polar bears has turned into a love for riding bikes and now, a way to raise money for a charity that Sophie loves.
“I’m really proud of Sophie, and what she is doing,” says her dad, Aaron. “Sophie really loves bike riding, I remember trying to pick her up from school one very rainy day this year, she refused to get in the car, in the end she rode home with some friends. She really enjoys riding her bike, and we’re a biking family so we think it’s just great.”
On Aug. 16, Sophie will join hundreds of other cycling enthusiasts at the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride.
Sophie said she started riding when she learned about global warming.
“I like polar bears but the ice is melting so where will they live? It’s because of gas and how we use energy, but bikes don’t use gas.”
The seven-year-old gave two reasons for participating in the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride.
“(I) wanted to try something hard and I also love YANA,” she said. “I like riding my bike because you get exercise and it’s really fun.”
Sophie has been practising for the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride all year.
“I just did a 24 km bike ride with my family in Vancouver, I rode my bike to school all year, and I might try the Saturday training ride with the YANA group. I’ve also been trying to make it up hills.”
Last year Sophie rode the family ride for the second time and raised over $800 for YANA. On Aug. 16 she will ride her longest ride yet, the 25 km route. Anyone wanting to pledge Sophie can donate by visiting the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride registration site via: www.yanacomoxvalley.com
YANA’s executive director, Marcie Dumais, is overwhelmed by the community support.
“I love this community,” she said. “It never ceases to amaze me how we work together to support our own. People of all ages get behind our ride in so many ways, we have our partners at Simon’s Cycles, participants, sponsors and volunteers all coming together to create one incredible event.”
Sponsors cover all costs and expenses ensuring that all registration and pledges go directly to helping Comox Valley families.
Dr. Andreas Conradi, the ride’s premier sponsor, has intimate knowledge of the work YANA does.
“Twenty years ago, my first-born was on life support and YANA supported our family,” said Conradi. “Having experienced that, I know first-hand what it means to have your community’s support.”
Now he and his team give back in as many ways as they can. This year they chose to provide T-shirts to nearly 500 participants and volunteers.
The YANA Ride is made possible by over 100 volunteers, like triathlete, Jill Grant.
“When I was asked to volunteer I thought it was a perfect fit because this event is about fun and fitness and I have been involved in so many of these events as an athlete, it’s great to give back because it feels so good,” said Grant.
The Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride is a challenging and unique bicycle ride through the beautiful Comox Valley with a variety of routes.
With the ride just over three weeks away there is still plenty of time for the community to get involved by pledging any of the registered riders, registering to ride or becoming an event sponsor. For more information visit www.yanacomoxvalley.com