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08/20/2007

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Alan Medcalf

Congratulations to all who chose to participate in this worthwhile event and by doing so raising a considerable sum for the MS organization.

In no way would I detract from these fundraising efforts.

I do wish, however, to encourage people to describe such events more positively. We describe participants in such "athon" events as HEROES for BATTLING their way in such a TOUGH event. The event is almost always described using language that would deter an average rider from participating.

I can't help but think that such language paints cycling with a negative image.

Among many others, I choose to cycle for fitness and fun, and as a way of seeing our great land up close and personal. I've cycled across Canada from Vancouver to St. John's, twice from Vancouver to Calgary, around Nova Scotia, and many other great treks. This summer I participated in TourBC, one of of 115 riders who chose to spend our vacation week cycling 900km and climbing 10,000m of mountain grades in all kinds of weather.

I'll readily admit that on all the treks I've done, there were moments where I doubted my sanity. Yet in every single case I recommend the trek and the experience as being a great way to enjoy life and cycling.

The "athon" movement has painted people's minds such that whenever I'm chatting with someone on one of my treks, they ask, me who I'm fundraising for. They're surprised someone would choose to cycle as a way of seeing Canada.

Let's not scare people away! Let's paint cycling positively and encourage more people to get on bikes more often!
...alan

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