A Colwood resident is raising money for hospice care on the Island by going the distance on a spin bike.
Graham Hanes is organizing a fundraiser that will see him riding a spin bike for over 12 hours in the main lobby of the Juan de Fuca Recreation, from open to close.
The money will go toward his Cycle of Life tour, a two-day, 200 km bike ride that benefits hospice care on Vancouver Island. The charity ride accepts the first 125 riders who raise $1,000. With the help of friends, family, and social media, Hanes has so far raised over $4,000.
When the B.C. Transit driver and part-time spin bike instructor brought up the idea to his colleagues at the recreation centre, they were supportive, although some convincing was needed, he said.
“They thought I was a little off, crazy-like, and I said, “Well if I don’t spin really fast, I think I can do it.”
Some who “really” liked that idea offered him advice, he added.
“One of my spin participants said to me, ‘Why don’t you have two bikes? And we’ll each take turns keeping you company throughout the day?’”
Hales asked his family members and people he bike rides with recreationally if they would like to come – “they want to support me too,” he said.
Hales has talked to “a couple of trainers and some long distance athletes” for advice. They told him he was going to need to take a minimum of five to ten minutes to recover every hour or two.
His plan is to get off the bike once every hour for around five minutes would be better, he noted.
“I’m going to gauge how I’m feeling. Because I gotta keep hydrating, I’m gonna probably have to go to the bathroom every hour.” Plus some stretching and having something to eat may need to be factored in, he said.
The biggest challenge in going the distance would be to not spin too fast, according to a rehab specialist at the facility, he said.
She told him, “‘If you start going faster, because you’re excited, your legs might not make it,’” he said.
Not everyone has been on board with the marathon event, however.
“There’s always the doubters saying, ‘You’re not gonna be able to do this. What are you, crazy?’ But I think I will.”
Hales lost a “dear friend” last year to ALS, something that still makes him emotional to talk about. “I tell you on that day, I’m gonna be a mess. I’ll be crying all day, probably,” he said.
The pain Hales will feel while on the bike is less than the pain some people under medical care deal with on a daily basis, he noted.
“You know what, I can suffer on a bike because I know I’m gonna go home.” Hospice provides important end-of-life care, counselling, snacks and “places to sleep if you’re out of town,” Hales noted. Hospitals don’t fully fund them, that’s why ride like this are important, he said.
A friend of Hales asked if he was interested to ride in the Cycle of Life bike ride with him. He’d never heard of it, but was immediately interested.
“As soon as I heard bike ride, I’m like ‘I’m in,” he said. They have been training on weekends, going 40 to 50 kilometres “at his pace,” Hanes said.
Together, the three members of his group, ‘Breaking Wind,’ has raised around $8,000.
The cycling route will take riders through Saanich Peninsula, Cowichan Valley and Gulf Islands over the course of two days on July 20 and 21, with an overnight stay on Salt Spring Island.
Hales’ ‘Spin-athon’ takes place at the Juan De Fuca Recreation Centre on June 15 from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.