My post on the Gran Fondo New York reminded me of the even larger number of charity cycling events. One point I made in the post on gran fondos was that these events take participants out of our usual routines and therefore have to offer us a history to which to belong. Charity events offer the opportunity to be part of histories of struggle against diseases, such as cancer, or efforts to support those in need, such as children, flood victims, etc. I personally prefer smaller philanthropic events that do not pay large appearance fees coupled with large administrative and advertising budgets. I like my dollar to go to the cause. With that in mind, I wanted to mention two upcoming events that I feel are doing a great job raising awareness and financial support for causes that the organizers have a tremendous amount of personal investment.

First, Cecil’s Ride takes place in honour of Cecil Apri, an avid cyclist who inspired two generations of riders including his son, Jimmy April and son-in-law, Earl Ralph. Jimmy, Earl and their friends would always invite Earl’s son, Robert, on morning group rides. The charity ride was thus started by friends and family who recognize the role of both Cecil and cycling in their lives. The event raises money for the Colorectal Cancer Molecular Diagnostic programs at the Jewish General Hospital and the McGill University Hospital Centre. The 9th annual (!) Cecil’s ride takes place Saturday July 2, 2011 on a great course and finishes with a BBQ! For more info or to donate, email

Good people, good cause, good food. Saturday July 2, 2011.

Second, after a successful battle against cancer, the Piccoli family committed itself to giving back to those that help children and families through their struggles with various forms of the disease. The Piccolis initiated the CIBC 401 Bike Challenge, whose 7th incarnation takes place this year from August 10-12, 2011. This is a tough event, but Gene Piccoli has rallied friends, family, co-workers and fellow members of the great Beaconsfield Cycling Club to join in the fulfilling fun. For more info/donations, click here.

Riders on the CIBC 401 Bike Challenge get it done. Go to to learn more

To be part of some histories is a privilege.


About Scott Toguri McFarlane

Scott Toguri McFarlane is a former Elite racer, and the founder of Toguri Training Services. For more than a decade, his approach to training has helped aspiring professional racers, provincial team members, and recreational cyclists of all ages and ability achieve their goals, including gold medals at National and Provincial Championships.

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