Lake2Lake Ride for Rwanda
Behind the scenes with the organizers.« Back to News & Reviews
CCN sat down with the organizers of the Lake2Lake Ride for Rwanda organized by the Wellspring Foundation. Now in its third year, the event is growing. What was the inspiration for the ride? From Shirley and Gerry Malnis, instigators of the event...
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your biking background?
My husband Gerry and I started riding an entry level tandem(KHS) 12 year ago for recreation. When the Wellspring Foundation for Education decided to ride the STP (Seattle to Portland) as a group to raise funds for their education projects in Rwanda we started riding more seriously, since the STP is 200miles over 2 days.
2. When did you get the idea for Lake2Lake?
While we were out training for the STP we stated many times how beautiful it was cycling in the North Okanagan and that we should start a ride in our own backyard to raise funds for Rwandan education instead of going all the way to Seattle. Three years ago the opportunity presented itself and now we are on the third annual Lake2Lake Ride for Rwanda.
3. What makes the event different?
The Lake2Lake is a 220km two-day non-competitive low-key fun ride aimed at enjoying the experience while raising money for a terrific cause. It is for both serious and novice cyclists. Since it is fully supported, riders who don't have much long distance experience can challenge themselves to complete the ride but don't have to worry about being left out on the road because a lift is always nearby should they require it. Overnight facilities are at a camp, so there is a real family oriented atmosphere. Riders are not required to raise pledge funds but have the opportunity to do so. Raising $500 gets the rider a free 'Team Wellspring' Jersey; $1200 nets the rider the jersey as well as a free ride (registration and accommodation).
4. What are your main goals for the event this year?
We would love to see 125 riders out and raise $100,000 for Wellspring's education projects in Rwanda.
(see the article on the Poggs in the Vernon Morning Star)
5. What are your top 2 places to ride and why?
Around home, my favourite ride is the backroads from O'Keefe Ranch north through Armstrong and Enderby to Grindrod; away from home, the Galloping Goose Trail system on Vancouver Island.
6. What bike are you riding now and any thoughts on what your next purchase will be?
Our tandem is a 4 year old custom built Rodriguez bike from R+E Cycles in Seattle; my single bike is a Trek Madonne 4.5 WSD and my husband's is a Trek 2.1 Alpha, both purchased last year.
7. What advice do you have for novice riders?
You can do it! A ride like the Lake2Lake may seem daunting at first but if you set the ride as a goal and ride consistently, increasing your distances gradually, you will be amazed at the what you can accomplish - and you will meet new people and have fun in the process!
8. What is your favourite post-ride beverage? E-Load