Local participants on the Big Bike riding through downtown Sooke last year. (Octavian Lacatusu/Sooke News Mirror)

Local participants on the Big Bike riding through downtown Sooke last year. (Octavian Lacatusu/Sooke News Mirror)

Heart and Stroke Foundation bringing Big Bike back to Sooke

Organizers hope to raise $12,000 at this year’s event

It’s time to put the pedal to the metal this summer for the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Big Bike fundraiser.

The Big Bike returns to Sooke June 1.

Running into its second year, the foundation’s goal this year is to raise $12,000, all going towards heart disease research.

Considering Sooke surpassed its $8,000 marker last year with a staggering $10,800.58, this shouldn’t be difficult, say organizers.

The ride starts at the Evergreen Mall parking lot, goes west on Sooke Road, up Shields, across Eustace past the Sooke Legion and then down Otter Point and back, with each bike looping around twice.

Not much has changed for the big bike, it still seats 30 comfortably, one driver and 29 riders.

Teams are split between 20 to 30 people, which is usually a combination of businesses and community groups. This year, the Sooke Women in Business group is riding for the first time. Prestige Hotel, Village Foods, and the District of Sooke teams have already registered for the event.

“We’re really excited to be coming back out. We had a fantastic time last year,” said Lea Silver, community development coordinator for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, adding the foundation is looking to build the Big Bike event into a staple of the Sooke community.

Prizes will be available. Two of Vancouver Island’s highest-fundraising teams will receive AEDs (defibrillators) placed in their communities.

“Last year that went to a team in Duncan, but we’d like to see one out in Sooke,” Silver said.

Overall, it’s good to see the community get involved in a fun way to make a difference.

“Reality is, heart disease is way too prevalent in our communities, and most of us have at least one connection to someone who has experienced or experiencing the disease,” Silver said. “It’s amazing if you raise $100 to prevent disease, but if you do that and change your habits, that money will go so much further.”

Just to spice things up a bit, there will also be a photo booth at the event.

Registration for the event is April 15, though more entrants are accepted afterwards. The event is expected to start around 8:30 a.m. on June 1.

For more info, or to register, please contact Lea Silver at 250-410-8094 or email at lea.silver@heartandstroke.ca.