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2022 Chair:  Wanda Bentkowski.  

2022 Co-chair: Lynn Kobierski

Contact: vg4acycletour@gmail.com

2022 was the first year since COVID that the Victoria Grandmothers Cycle Tour returned to its signature route, from Campbell River to Victoria.  The Virtual Cycle Tour, the alternate plan devised during COVID, proved so popular that we ran it as well. Cyclists could ride in one or both.  27 riders completed the 275 km Campbell River Ride over three days in September, while 45 riders counted the kilometres they rode at home for the previous month for the Virtual Tour.  We charted the total kilometres covered by the team on a map of Africa and back across Canada from east to west.  To strengthen our connection to the grandmothers in Africa, a weekly Cycle Tour newsletter featured a story about an SLF partner in each of the 15 countries we "rode" through.

Scroll down to see a blog of the Campbell River ride, or if you are signed in as a member, find folders of photos on the MEMBERS ONLY page.  

Friendship Rides happen weekly on Mondays through fall, winter and spring, changing to Training Rides in April.  We also offer shorter group rides on Fridays.  If you'd like to join our cyclists on any of these rides and enjoy the company of other women 55 years and older as we cycle the trails and byways around Victoria, contact vg4acycletour@gmail.com  to be connected with the organizers.

Training Rides:  Cyclists on the email list will be notified on the previous Friday of the start time and location.  To access maps and cues for rides click on the appropriate link below: 

Ride 1 cues     and map Ride 11 cues    Ride 11 map

Ride 21 cues    Ride 21 map

Ride 2 cues     Ride 2 map Ride 12 cues    Ride 12 map Ride 22 cues    Ride 22 map
Ride 3 cues     Ride 3 map Ride 13 cues    Ride 13 map Ride 23 cues    Ride 23 map
Ride 4 cues     Ride 4 map Ride 14 cues    Ride 14 map Campbell River to Victoria Day 1
Ride 5 cues     Ride 5 map Ride 15 cues    Ride 15 map Campbell River to Victoria Day 2
Ride 6 cues     Ride 6 map Ride 16 cues    Ride 16 mapCampbell River to Victoria Day3a
Ride 7 cues     Ride 7 mapRide 17 cues    Ride 17 map Campbell River to Victoria Day 3b

Ride 8 cues     Ride 8 map

Ride 18 cues    Ride 18 map Campbell River to Victoria Day 3c
Ride 9 cues     Ride 9 map Ride 19 cues    Ride 19 map  
Ride 10 cues   Ride 10 map Ride 20 cues    Ride 20 map  


  • 15 Sep 2022 5:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     Cycle Tour Finale

    Photos by Jane Player tell the story

    Riders from the Campbell River to Victoria Cycle Tour come over the Selkirk Trestle at the end of their 275 km ride to a warm welcome from members of the month-long Virtual Tour, delight on all their faces.

    2 sets of sisters cycled this year.  Above, Virtual Rider Meg (L) greets her sister Nancy, who did the Campbell River ride.  

    Mayor Helps led all the cyclists in to Mile Zero


    where a large crowd of friends, family and supporters cheered them in

    Chair of the Cycle Tour Working Group, Wanda Bentkowski, (right, below) thanked and congratulated all participants and the donors, a most essential part of the team.  And Ruth-Anne Seburn brought greetings from the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, and congratulations to the Cycle Tour for having raised over $1.1 million since its beginnings in 2007.

              

    Victoria Grandmothers Cycle Tour 2022 was a tremendous success, raising over $114,000 to support the work of grandmothers in Africa who partner with the Stephen Lewis Foundation.  Solidarity here; solidarity in Africa; women working together can be grandmothers of steel!

    Donate at vg4a.ca


  • 11 Sep 2022 9:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    No accidents, no flat tires, one twisted fender quickly repaired, and a safe arrival at Mile Zero for the riders from the Campbell River to Victoria Ride, plus Virtual Riders, plus support team, plus Duncan our sweep, plus Mayor Helps our faithful cheerleader.  Ruth-Ann Seburn brought greetings from the Grandmothers Campaign, and announced that the VG4A Cycle Tour has raised over $1.1 million since its beginnings in 2007. 

    It was a smoky ride down the Island today 


    Waiting for the Mill Bay ferry to take us back to Brentwood Bay


    Lunch stop in Centennial Park in Saanich, hosted by the Glammas, cycling friends from the Sidney area.  Thank you for great sandwiches and platefuls of fruit so beautifully arranged it was a shame to eat any.


    The VG4A Facebook page has more details:

    VG4A 2022 Cycle Tour cyclists rolled in to Mile Zero in Victoria at 3:00 today to loud cheers from a crowd of supporters and well-wishers. Over the last three days, 27 of these women have cycled hills, trails and roads over 275 km from Campbell River to Victoria. Other cyclists have counted their kilometres for a month to complete a Virtual Ride through Africa and back. Wanda Bentkowski, chair of the organizing group and one of the cyclists, thanked the team for their commitment to the cause and also thanked the donors, who play such an important role in this event. Mayor Helps led the cyclists in to Mile Zero, and talked of the unified sense of purpose shown by the group, much needed in this time of discord throughout the world. The Tour has raised a phenomenal $112,300 already to support the work of grandmothers in community-based organizations in Africa with whom the Stephen Lewis Foundation partners. There's still time to support this work at vg4a.ca.

    Photos from the Cycle Tour Finale will follow in the days ahead.

  • 10 Sep 2022 8:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    27 exhilarated cyclists rode in to the Best Western in Chemainus, pleased to have completed the bulk of the distance to Victoria, but tired from covering 200 km in 2 days.  The hot tub felt wonderful!  They'd started their day with yoga and shoulder rubs in Qualicum Beach, followed by an inspiring personal story from Peggy Frank about her experiences in Zimbabwe during her student years.  

    Coffee break in Nanoose Bay was hosted by Oceanside Grandmothers, who welcome us, fed us delicious cookies, fruit and potatoes (good for energy!) and waved us on our way to Nanaimo.

    .  

    Nanoose Bay                                                   Nanaimo

    Below are more photos from Nanaimo, where the Nan-Go Grannies had prepared a long table-ful of healthy food to fuel the afternoon's ride to Chemainus


    .  


    Tomorrow has the two most difficult hills, Richard's Trail and Cowichan Bay Hill, and then the Mill Bay ferry takes us back to familiar roads for most.  We arrive at Mile Zero, led by Mayor Helps, at 3:00 p.m.  Will we see you there?

    Pledge Page Total:  $108,246.35

    Be part of the team -- donate here


  • 9 Sep 2022 8:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Emily Vance is a terrific journalist.  She nailed this article in today's Good News Newsletter, about why we are riding.  It makes good reading!

    Many people are important to the success of the ride.  Some people cycle, some support the cyclists, and some do both.  Below is Wanda, cyclist and chair of the Working Group that organizes the ride.  Calm, quiet and so efficient, she keeps the myriad details in order and lets everyone do their own job -- a great leader.

    Next are Joanne Reid of Glacier Grannies and Meg French, Executive Director of the Stephen Lewis Foundation at our delicious lunch stop in Union Bay.  Grandmother groups support the Cycle Tour wherever the Tour passes through their region, bring groups together in friendship and solidarity.  We're honoured to have Meg visit the Island to see for herself how this iconic tour unfolds.

    and last, appropriately, is Duncan Chiu, the faithful sweep, who has ridden behind every Cycle Tour since its inception in 2007, ready, as he says, to sweep up the pieces and get us going again.  His steady voice encourages any tired cyclist to believe she CAN make it up the next hill.


    With supporters like this, and many more, the team's confident of making it from Qualicum Beach to Chemainus (100 km) tomorrow.  Onward!  Amandla!

  • 8 Sep 2022 9:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Arriving by bike, car and truck, cyclists headed to their first briefing by Wanda, Cycle Tour Working Group chair.  Jocelyn laughed when she recalled how the idea of a cycling fundraiser first occurred to her in 2007, when she was cycling with Carol Judd, founder of Victoria Grandmothers for Africa.  Having planted the seed, Jocelyn promptly left town for three months, leaving Carol and Yvonne to do all the organizing.  She arrived home just in time to do the ride. Since that first ride in 2007, the Cycle Tour has raised over $1 million -- pretty good organizing!

    Jocelyn Green


    Cycle Tour  Team 2022

    Wearing their trademark kangas (African-fabric scarves) , the team headed off to the Send-off Dinner, prepared by Campbell River Grandmothers.  A long row of tables offered an amazing choice of tasty dishes for main course followed by tempting desserts.  Thank you -- you pulled it off again, Campbell River!


    Two important visitors joined the team here -- Meg French, Executive Director of the Stephen Lewis Foundation (in white) and Ruth-Ann Seburn, Grandmothers Campaign Officer (in stripes).  They brought greetings from the Foundation, and complimented grandmothers for not allowing COVID to stop our crucial fundraising work, and for getting back to the full ride so quickly.  They will follow the team down the Island, meeting all the other grandmother groups on the way.


    Tomorrow: 100 km to Qualicum Beach

    Pledge Page Donations:  $105,106.35

    to donate: click here

  • 7 Sep 2022 5:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Some cyclists were out on the trails and roads around Victoria again today, adding kilometres to the distance they'll contribute to the Virtual Ride.  Over the last month, the Virtual Ride has gone from Cape Town, South Africa to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; riders "took a plane" back to Newfoundland; and now they're  cycling virtually back across Canada.  Of course, the Campbell River riders will each add 275 km to the total as they cycle down the Island.  This is near Michell's Farm. They'll all be packing now to leave for Campbell River in the morning.

    Total amount raised to date

    on the VG4A 2022 Cycle Tour Pledge Page 

     $102,446.35 

    If you've been meaning to support the team, but haven't yet found the time, we'd be very grateful for your donation, in any amount that suits your budget.  The pledge page is HERE 

    Lynn and Berken met up in Qualicum to ride together to Courtenay.  Here they are showing team colours, front and back.

                  

    Two members of the Campbell River group, Karen King (right below) and Erika Kellerhals (left),  are also on the Cycle Tour. They've been training by themselves not in a team like the Victoria riders.  They'll be glad to welcome the team to their home community tomorrow.

    .  



  • 6 Sep 2022 9:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Three of the cyclists new to the Cycle tour are keen to get started.  They're heading up to Campbell River already -- by bike, all or part of the way.  Berken had an unlucky start on Sunday as her hub gears totally jammed and she had to get a tow truck to take her back to Fairfield Bicycles. Thank goodness they had her on her way in time for the ferry to Mill Bay, arriving in Chemainus by 4:00. 

     

    Mary Ann was luckier, cycling through beautiful weather and even more beautiful ocean routes to get to Courtenay and visit her daughter before the ride.  No photos yet from Lynn, but these three will meet up in Courtenay on Thursday to cycle the last leg up to Campbell River and meet other riders and support team who have come by car.  One more day to wait, then everyone meets in Campbell River, and Victoria Grandmothers Cycle Tour 2022 begins!

  • 5 Sep 2022 3:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Thursday September 8, the Campbell River Grandmothers Group will welcome members of this year's Victoria Grandmothers Cycle Tour to a celebratory dinner to mark the start of the 2022 ride from Campbell River to Victoria, the first since COVID.  27 women aged 55 and older have been training for months for this day, and the excitement is building in this last week leading up to the ride.  Two of the riders are from Campbell River while the others are from the Victoria area; 11 riders are doing this tour for the first time.  

    Follow this blog to hear stories and see pictures from the road.  Ride with the team virtually as they ride it on the beautiful roads and trails en route to Victoria.

    Here's a photo of the Launch of the Virtual Ride which has been going on for the past month, with riders collecting kilometres to map across Africa. Many of these riders are now switching gears to ride the Campbell River to Victoria Ride.

    Support the riders by donating to the team or an individual rider through the DONATE button above this blog, and find more news here tomorrow.

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