An Emotional Finish at the Souris Charity Bike Tour

The Souris Charity Bike Tour took place on Saturday September 8th at Victoria park and was a resounding success. The two-part event; half fitness challenge, and half barbecue party, had participants from Westman and Souris walking, running and riding their bikes to raise money for charities at home and abroad.

Five weeks ago, Ramona Taylor saw a poster for the Souris Charity Bike Tour at our local Bigway. She thought she’d like to try the 50 km bike ride. “I’d had some heart issues a year and 4 months ago.” Taylor explains. In the time since her health crisis, Ramona quit smoking, watched what she ate and got a lot more physical exercise. “I knew my health was getting better and I wanted a new challenge in my life.” For Ramona, 50 km on a bike sounded like a good way to amp up her new, healthy lifestyle.

In order to participate in the event, Taylor needed to raise a minimum of $50. Money that would be put towards the SCBT’s 2 charities; 60 Million Girls and the Souris Avalon Theater. Ramona felt these were two great causes and wanted to show her support. “We are a wealthy community by world standards,” she explains, “sometimes we need to broaden our horizons and share the wealth we have.” Ramona appealed to her friends and family and easily came up with more than six times the minimum fundraising amount.

On Saturday the eighth, the weather was sunny with a north wind gusting at 20km/hr. To the cyclists in the bike tour that meant 20 kilometers of head wind. “It was a challenge,” Taylor admits, “the wind was a bugger.” Some of the more experienced cyclists made it look easy but no matter how hard it felt- no matter how the wind howled and her thighs screamed, Taylor never gave up. “I knew before I left it was going to be hard. I knew I was undertrained and I knew I was going to finish.”

The cyclists started to roll back into Victoria part about two hours after they began. The barbecue got underway and crowds consisting of walkers, runners, cyclists and anyone else who wanted to attend regaled in the afternoon’s entertainment. There was a lively Zumba and Zumbatomic demonstration by Meagan Perkin, original songs by local singing sensation Morgan Yeroscak and some sweet folk music by semi-local, Heart’s Desire. Beef on a bun by J and S meats and veggie platters from the Sunflower Teahouse rounded out the meal. The hours passed and still Ramona hadn’t crossed the finish line yet.

Taylor was still out there, struggling, sweating and determined to finish the 50 km trek. “My sister was a huge help. She’d bike ahead and then wait for me.” says Taylor, explaining how she pushed through the last five kilometers. And then, at long last, Ramona could see the last hill, she was almost there- she’d nearly done it! At long last, a triumphant Taylor coasted into the bowl to a cheering crowd. Everyone clapped and whooped. And then, smiling, she dismounted from her bike and on wobbly knees…looked up into her son’s waiting eyes. Taylor was speechless. Her shaking hands went straight to her mouth- her eyes filled with tears. Here was her precious family to surprise her, support her and tell her how proud they were of her. She’d done it!

“I’ll definitely do it again next year, “says Taylor. “I’m getting my health back and the bike tour is a great cause. It was fun and really well done.” Who knows, maybe next year Ramona will bring more of her family with her to ride.

For more information about the Souris Charity Bike Tour and upcoming events go to
sourischaritybiketour.com

Top photo by Thera’s Photography

Photo of the triumphant Ramona by Dana Stam Photography

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