Mattawa’s Josie Dinsmore is back on the bike this summer and she’s giving her all to raise funds to help kids with cancer. It’s all part of the annual Great Cycle Challenge Canada, a SickKids Foundation fundraising initiative, which encourages cyclists to hit the roads and trails for cancer research.
“That’s the most important thing, raising the awareness and the funds for the research that they’re doing for kids’ cancer,” Dinsmore said.
The cause keeps her wheels spinning, and this August marks her fourth year participating in the fundraiser. In that time, she’s ridden 1,322 kilometers and raised $2,841 for the charity. This year, her goal is to raise $500 and ride 300 kilometres.
See: Mattawa’s Josie Dinsmore is down for the Great Cycle Challenge
People can contribute to her quest by visiting greatcyclechallenge.ca and typing her name into the “Find a Participant” search bar. She encourages folks to check the site and have a look to see if anyone in your area is participating and consider putting your own bike toward a good cause by registering for the challenge.
“It gives everybody the chance to participate and do something to help,” she said, noting that people can still sign up, and each person sets their own goals. No need to be a cycling phenom and log 1,000 kilometers, you can create a goal of your choice and work toward that.
The challenge runs throughout August. So far, the challenge has raised just over $7 million, from 15,269 riders putting in close to 1.8 million kilometers throughout the country. The fundraiser has been going for seven years.
Dinsmore enjoys the challenge because she’s become an avid cyclist, at times wheeling all the way to North Bay from Mattawa along the back roads and trails. Her mom often joins her, which makes for a nice trip along the old Voyageur cycling route.
“It the last few years we’ve been doing more and more,” Dinsmore said, “and I think next year there’s probably going to be some longer trips or a few more difficult ones.”
A fan of adventure and the outdoors, Dinsmore often posts on social media about her travels. “So instead of just doing that, I can post about the fundraiser as well and use that exposure to raise some funds for this cause.”
“If you’re already out there biking, you might as well be helping to promote this event and do something good,” she said, and reminded people it’s not too late to join up for the challenge.
To follow her progress, check out her website Adventures with Josie, and visit her profile on the Great Cycle Challenge’s website.
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca