The Heart & Stroke Foundation has added special plans for this year's Big Bike Ride in Neepawa and is looking for past riders to get involved once more.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Ride in Manitoba, and Neepawa is one of two communities in our area – the other being Portage – that is now hoping to have an Alumni Team to go with its regular team riders this year.
The ride is set for Sept. 17, with a barbecue at 6:30 p.m. and the first group of riders heading out at 7 p.m.
“We have had lots of riders in Neepawa and it would be great to have a team together,” the Foundation's Catherine Newham explained. “Some people may have done it in the past, and we're hoping they'll want to try it again one more time for our anniversary ride.”
Neepawa has a history as being one of the most dedicated, and successful, venues in Manitoba. In the past 20 years there have only been two summers where Neepawa didn't host a Ride. At one point in time, Neepawa even had three teams competing each year with East View Lodge, UCT and the community at large all filling their own
In order to feature an Alumni Team, at least 15 former riders will have to come forward. That's something Newham doesn't believe will be a problem in this community.
“Neepawa have been the trend setters,” Newham explained. “It's the one team that's raised the most in the past four years in my
(coverage) area. I'm always bragging about Neepawa wherever I go.”
The community continued that trend again this year, with its annual Ride team roster of 29 being filled within a matter of two days.
Anyone interested in joining the Alumni Team can call Trudi McCarthy at (204) 476-2386. Limited spots may also be available for new riders, as some people on the 'annual team' have also ridden in past years and could switch to ride with the Alumni Team.