Since 2007, the 100 members of Victoria Grandmothers for Arica (VG4A) has raised almost $1 million with the annual Cycle Tour but – like many other organizations and events – had to change plans with the onset of the pandemic.
Over four weeks, almost 70 grandmas will track their individual kilometres cycled, raising money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) to support and empower grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa who are raising AIDS-orphaned grandchildren to ensure their lives are longer and healthier than those of their parents.
From Aug. 17 to Sept. 13, riders will take on the ‘Cycling sub-Saharan Africa’ challenge with six teams responsible for a 3,000-km stage of the ride that will equal the same distance required to travel through all 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Making up the almost 70 riders are women ranging in age from 61 to 85 years old from across the Island.
The 13 previous years of the cycle tour involved at least 30 women riding their bikes 275 kilometres from Campbell River to Victoria, with encouragement and food provided by SLF “granny groups.”
Information and stories from SLF supported initiatives will be shared weekly with participants for the areas through which they are virtually riding. These weekly pieces will also be posted on the VG4A website and the VG4A Facebook page.
To make a donation to the VG4A team of cyclists, visit bit.ly/3afgCO1.