Southern Alberta senior cycling 1,000 kilometres for kids cancer charity

A 71-year-old man from southern Alberta embarks on a long mission to cycle 1,000 kilometers in August for both fitness and charity.

Dave Laycock of Stirling is one of 20,000 participants in this year’s Great Cycle Challenge Canada (GCC) and wants to raise $500 dollars to go to the SickKids Foundation for childhood cancer research.

He said he initially started cycling to get in shape.

“Last year I was overweight. I weighed 265 pounds, and in the meantime I lost 70 pounds,” Laycock said. “And I feel so much better.”

Laycock said he heard about GCC through Facebook. In 2020, he drove an impressive 348 miles, raising just over $500. His monetary goal is the same this time around, but he wants to push his cycling limits.

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“My goal is 250 (kilometers) a week, but I want to exceed that. There’s no harm in doing better,” he said.

“I really like children. They need the best conditions to grow up in.”

Laycock also hopes to inspire others to take up cycling, regardless of age, and hopes his wife will join him in the Great Cycle Challenge next year.

“What I first discovered was that it was very hard on my leg muscles,” he explained. “But the more you delve into it, the less it becomes a problem.

“If I can get one more person to do it, that would be perfect.”

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Jamie Lamont, director of special events and sponsorships at SickKids Foundation, said the money raised will go into several avenues, including research and programming.

“We are very focused on making sure that the money raised on a national basis definitely benefits the national programs available in children’s hospitals across Canada,” Lamont said.

With participants from every county taking part this year, Lamont said it’s encouraging to see all ages participating as well. He commends Laycock for his ambitious goal this year.

“That’s no small feat,” he said of the 1,000-kilometer ride. “He would actually do some pretty long rides, I can see his rides on his personal page. I am a rider myself and Dave does a great job. ”

The GCC is in its sixth year and has raised more than $20 million to date.

“It would be great if we could make at least $8 million this year,” Lamont said. “I see this community’s rally will get us there.”

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