EPR Trillium LLP is proud to report that the Pacers rode again in the MS Bike Ride from Grand Bend to London and back to Grand Bend for the SIXTH consecutive year on July 29nd and 30th, 2017. Maintaining a strong connection to the communities we serve and giving back in ways that promote healthy, active choices for our team remains a core corporate principle and participation in the MS Bike ride is one such activity.
You will recall this is an event to raise funds to help both support MS patients and with research to end the disease once and for all. There are various events around the country but the Grand Bend to London to Grand Bend event is one of the very biggest with some 1,600 riders meandering along the quite back roads of Southwestern Ontario. Over the two days, riders cover a total of more than 150 kilometers and there are many prominent teams represented, including EPR Trillium’s Pacers.
This year, we had a total of 11 riders. Leading the way were Liz Neal, Keith Pearce, and Al Neal all returning for a sixth straight event. Other EPR Trillium team members riding were rookies Ash El Khodier (EPR Trillium London) and Collin Pearce (EPR Trillium London). Riders who have been with us for many trips along Southwest Ontario’s rural roads include Rick Malton, Luke Edwards (who rides for his sister who has MS and can’t ride for herself), David Rush, and Randy Green. Other rookies this year included, Maralyn Young and Mohammed Abou Ghalwa.
The weather both days for the ride was quite good, no rain and not too hot but every rider swore that they faced a strong head wind both days no matter what direction they turned. There are of course many MS sufferers who ride the route as well so we, who are healthy, admired their drive, stamina, and determination not just for this ride but for coping on a day to day basis with MS.
The team recognizes the achievement of Ash who has only recently taken to bicycling and never ridden very far previously and Mohammed who rode the route on a bike that was less than ideal for such a long trip. The team also is more than thankful that David as the older rider in the group, who continues to ride as well as anyone on the team. Accolades also go to Maralyn and Collin for taking on the challenge and embracing it enthusiastically. Neither one of them complained at all about their aches and pains maintaining great spirits all along the way.
The real action hero of the weekend was Randy who only recently had been in hospital with a major surgery and managed to come back and ride so well in such as short recovery time. Randy is an inspiration to everyone who suffers a huge set back but picks themselves up and gets back to living life to the fullest.
Of course, the real purpose of the effort was to raise funds for MS and we did that to the tune of almost $7,000, bringing our six year total to over $42,000. We are all most proud of this and congratulate David who once again raised the most funds!
After the long ride, the team retired to Sandy and Keith’s condo to enjoy some well-earned beverage refreshments and food.
Special thanks go; to Sandy who sacrificed her saddle time to take pictures as our official photographer as well cook a great meal; to Chris and Nancy Button (EPR Trillium – Aylmer) for being such a huge help at the after party; and to Joanne and Ken Haagsma (EPR Trillium – Dorchester) for bringing a special desert. We say this every year but it is true every year, Liz Neal is the best Team Leader ever, but most of all, thanks to everyone who sponsored our team – it was an amazing team effort!