GORE BAY – Rotary Club of Gore Bay member Peter Carter is looking forward to the Bay to Bay 150-kilometre bike ride he will be taking part in this August to raise funds for the club and, in turn, the Lyons Memorial United Church Food Cupboard.
“The ride will help the community and the food cupboard, and hopefully build the exposure for the Rotary Club and Manitoulin Island for years to come,” stated Peter Carter in an interview last week.
“I’ve always been an avid bicyclist,” Mr. Carter told the Recorder. “When I was living and working in St. John’s, sometimes after work a group of us would ride from St. John’s to Cape Fear. And when Rick Hanson began his across the world fundraising trek, he started in St. John’s and we travelled with him the first 10 miles or more.” Mr. Carter has also taken part in the annual Tour de Meldrum Bay hosted by Dale Scott to raise funds for the Mindemoya Hospital Auxiliary for the past few years.
“I am in pretty good shape,” said Mr. Carter as he prepares for the Bay to Bay Ride. “I have been golfing (walking) 18 holes a day just about every day since Manitoulin Golf opened for the season. And I try to get out bicycling at least four times a week for a 100 kilometre ride, depending on what is going on and what the weather conditions are like.”
“Come July 15 I will start ramping up to do the 150 kilometre Bay to Bay ride (from Gore Bay to Gore Bay and return),” said Mr. Carter. He finds bicycling, “relaxing and enjoyable. And the roads up here on the Island are great for bicycling.”
Mr. Carter said that with the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the world this past March, like everything else the Rotary Club was hit hard. In the summer, the Rotary Club annually holds a fish fry, dinner theatre and a couple of other fundraisers, but the pandemic prevented this, for this year.
“And the annual Tour de Meldrum ride has been cancelled this year as well,” said Mr. Carter. “I had mentioned (to the Rotary Club) that I could ride 150 kilometres and the club members how this could be turned into a fundraising event. That’s how the idea for this ride started.”
“The club members hope to be able to tap into associates to generate sponsorship for the ride,” said Mr. Carter. “I’m trying to get a couple of people to ride with me (from the Lyons Memorial United Church in Gore Bay to Meldrum Bay and back). Steve Redmond has indicated he will ride with me and the Quackenbush family are going to be travelling with us one way on the trip.”
“We’ve thrown out the idea to other Rotary Clubs to try and get riders from other Rotary Clubs and possibly make this a Rotary district event,” continued Mr. Carter. “They could be a five kilometre family ride set up and various other events to turn this into a community event. And, if everything goes well, this could become the first annual Bay to Bay something we could build on for future years.”
“This ride may, we hope, inspire more people to join the Rotary Club as well,” said Mr. Carter.
The Lyons Memorial United Church food cupboard, “is fairly new to Gore Bay,” said Mr. Carter. “There are a lot of people whose income is drying up because they because they are not at work and a lot are not entitled to government assistance. We are hoping this fundraising event will be a success and the food cupboard will be able to help these local residents.”
The ride is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 15 and will follow Highway 540 to Meldrum Bay and back. In the event of inclement weather, the ride will be held on Sunday, August 16. “We will be starting at 7 am on August 15, beginning at Lyons Memorial United Church with a kickoff including some Lyons United Church members and community members.”
The Rotary Club is hoping to raise $5,000 through this event and all funds raised will go toward supporting the food cupboard. Anyone wanting to support this endeavour can do so by making a pledge of support through a private message to the Gore Bay Rotary Club’s Facebook page. Cheques may also be mailed directly to the Lyons Memorial Food Cupboard at 17 Meredith Street, Gore Bay, POP IHO. Be sure to include your contact information and mailing address. Charitable receipts for income tax purposes will be issued by the church following the completion of the ride.