Teaming up with our sponsors and distributors globally, Pinkbike's Share the Ride raises money to bring disadvantaged children from all over the world the opportunity to share the joy of being on two wheels by providing them with bicycles, helmets and locks. Since its inception in 2013, the foundation has raised over $200,000 and brought smiles to hundreds of children around the world. Information on the Share the Ride foundation can be found at https://www.pinkbike.com/sharetheride/,
It almost feels surreal now that it’s over. What took nearly a year of planning was over and done in less than four hours! Of course I am referring to the Pinkbike Share the Ride in the Comox Valley on January 19, 2020. This event was the first of its kind here on the island, and to say it was a success is seriously downplaying it!
Rewind to spring of 2019 when I reached out to Stephen Exley to help get the funding for the event. Something like this had never been done in the valley, but after spending time in the community coaching (I was newly transplanted from Squamish) it became clear that the love of cycling was very alive here, and the need for a program like this was apparent.
And thats why we do it, folks.
Fast forward to Summer 2019. After coming to terms with the fact we would not receive the funding, Pinkbike came through! It only made sense to host the event in conjunction with the Stevie Smith Memorial Cup held on Mount Washington on September 15. We had the funds, a deadline, and now we just needed the recipients.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried to get in touch with teachers in the middle of the summer. I’ll tell you now, it’s nearly impossible! That’s where Kathy Segriff from Arden Elementary came in. When I first approached her regarding the Share the Ride event, she thought it was a dream come true. Right away she was nearly in tears thinking of all the children that would benefit from a new bike, either due to behavioural/physical needs or their family situation. I tasked her with building a “wish list” of children. She did not disappoint! When Kathy emailed me her final list, she prefixed the email with “I know this is a bit of a dream list of 14 kids,” but I set out to deliver!
I had the funds, I had the kids now all I needed was help! I immediately reached out to my friends at Comox Bike Company who were on board before I could even finish explaining what the program was. With Stephen’s help, we reached out to my sponsor, Specialized Canada. With the funds Pinkbike graciously gave us, we made that hefty bike wish list into a reality. Unfortunately, our timeline didn’t match up with the DH race at Mount Washington. It started to feel like my mission was slipping through my fingers. But I didn’t give up.
With the help of my amazing partners, Comox Bike Company and Gravity MTB, as well as the efforts of Kathy Segriff and Arden Elementary, we set a new date and carried on full steam ahead. Our eyes were set on January 19, 2020. Nearly a year after I first approached Pinkbike! Jared Walker of OGC came through with 14 brand new helmets. Gravity MTB donated coaching lessons to all the kids. Brett Kroeker was on board for photos and pulled Scott Bell out of the woodwork for video. We had everything and everyone we needed to make this event happen.
Memories of a legend on display
Fast forward again to Sunday, January 19th. After a record snowfall and snowfall warning had us concerned we might have to postpone, again, we arrived at Arden Elementary and prepared ourselves to make dreams come true. 14 students entered the gymnasium accompanied by their families and the overwhelming glee was infectious. Students gasped and cried tears of joy as they found the bike with their name on it. Their eyes widened as they cried “mom, dad, look” while checking out their gift bags filled with swag!
It always means more when you build it yourself.
Each student worked with Comox Bike Co to set up their bikes and install their water bottle cages. Volunteers helped fit their brand new helmets generously donated by Giro Cycling. Tianna Smith share stories of Stevie Smith and helped spark the passion in all the young riders. To help maintain the momentum of this new found love, Gravity MTB donated a personalized coaching session for all students! We made dreams come true! And all the hugs and thank you letters reminded me exactly why I started on this path almost a year ago!
The team that made it all happen, lead by Rebecca Nicol
Tianna Smith, doing what she does: inspiring kids and carrying on Stevie's legacy
Not sure who's having more fun; the kids or the adults?
The next generation of local shredders
Fresh Spesh for a stoked rider
Everyone wishes they looked this cool on a bike
We would like to acknowledge that the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the K’ómoks First Nation.
Chad and CJ Hendren, Owners of Gravity MTB
Just a whole stack of fun
The boys from Comox Bike Co taking in the joy that they helped create
Interested in hosting a Share the Ride event in your community? We are always happy to hear from you - please let us know more about yourself HERE
A very special thank you to the everyone for working together to make this event a success:
Rebecca Nicol - Specialized Ambassador
Stephen Exley - Dunbar Summer Series
Sarah Lukas - Pinkbike
Specialized Bicycles Canada
Nicholas Russell - Specialized Canada
Comox Bike Co. - Craig Harris | Craig Patrick | Chip Murray
Gravity MTB - Chad and CJ Hendren
Jared Walker - Giro Sports
Brett Kroeker Photography
Scott Bella Visuals
Kathy Segriff and all the staff at Arden Elementary
Ryders PizzaAlong with all the Pinkbike users who donated to Share the Ride Foundation
Video: Scott Bell
Photos: Brett Kroeker