Pictou-Advocate-opinion

Bikers ride for causes

Opinion

It was an exceptional weekend for those riding and pedalling two wheels.

Three events directed at raising funds and awareness for distinct causes took place in Pictou County or ended here. Two of the events involved cycling.

The Ride for Reese that began in Toronto on August 1 ended on Sunday with the arrival of Andrea Haughan and Lloyd McLean for the final few metres. They were led by Reese Hawkins, in whose honour Haughan and McLean pedalled through Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick before returning to Nova Scotia on Friday. They travelled about 160 kilometres each day, slightly more than that on Sunday, before arriving in Pictou at the end of the Jitney Trail.

Haughan and McLean are accomplished athletes and extraordinary people. They have been part of a growing list of causes in recent years, and their youthful exuberance makes it easier for them to defy their age. One wonders what either of them or both of them can do for an encore.

Kane Mercer completed an eastward journey last weekend to complement a westward one local athlete and palliative care volunteer Ian Bos previously did when he cycled to a hospice centre in Victoria, B.C.

The Pictou County Palliative Care Society honoured Mercer on Sunday after his arrival on a journey that began in Victoria and welcomed the decision to end his mission in New Glasgow. The message by the society, Bos and Mercer is an important one.

As a growing older population ages, society cannot have enough hospice and palliative care. It is a way of ensuring that people in end-of-life circumstances dignity that was afforded them throughout their lives.

These were bike rides of long distances. There was also the Ride for a Cure for diabetes based in Scotsburn on Saturday. The weather did not entirely co-operate for this event, but the venue and routes used were ideal for the cause. Bikers gathered beside the fire hall before heading along Route 256 to The Falls and along Route 311 to Tatamagouche. There were strategic stops scheduled for there and in River John before the bikers’ return to Scotsburn.

The rumble of the motorcycle stands in remarkable contrast to the way their riders rally to causes. The Red Knights bikers were not riding on Saturday but they were volunteering by means of a barbecue in New Glasgow to raise money and awareness on behalf of those who attend the burn treatment camp near Sutherlands River.

The bikers in Scotsburn were among those who have replaced a recent fun run and walk in support of diabetes that was based in Pictou.

Bikers represent one more example — as emphasized by Haughan and McLean on Sunday — that Pictou County’s most treasured resource is our people.

We are truly rich.

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