Tillsonburg’s Scott Gooding has joined the Great Cycle Challenge and is riding in August in support of the SickKids Foundation to fight childhood cancer.
“I’ve always liked biking,” said Gooding. “I had a mountain bike, and then for retirement, the kids and a few other people got me as well got me fat (off-road) bike, which I’ll use more in the winter. I like doing trails, but I’ve also been doing some on the roads, too. Today Aug. 6) I did some trails almost all the way to Highway 59, then went into Otterville, then a trail from Springford to Tillsonburg. That was almost 40 kilometres.”
In March when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Ontario high schools, Gooding – who officially retired from Glendale High School in June – used the time to start getting into shape, first on an exercise bike, then outdoors as the weather improved.
His wife Kathy showed him information on the Great Cycle Challenge a few weeks ago and he accepted the challenge.
“It was a great cause. I’m biking anyways, and have had family members affected by cancer – fortunately, not kids at this point and hopefully never. I’m able to raise money and it motivates me to get out there too, to keep going.”
The SickKids Foundation’s annual cycling challenge started in 2016.
“Youth in our area have had to use that (Toronto) hospital, that’s for sure, for very serious cases.”
Gooding has been grouped in the Simcoe chapter, which also includes other Tillsonburg riders. As of Monday he had ridden 192 kilometres on his way to 400-kilometre goal in August. So far he has raised $860.
“It’s a great initiative because you can choose whatever you want to do. You pick your goal in terms of how far you want to bike and you also pick how much you want to raise. I picked $200 because I didn’t really expect… who knows? I’m definitely hoping I can get over $1,000 now. I should be able to get past the 400-kilometre (goal), but it’s hard to say.”
Donations are mostly made online (greatcyclechallenge.ca), but can also be made to Gooding in person.
“They have a great system. I signed up through Facebook. They also have a Great Cycle Challenge iPhone app.
“It’s awesome, I’m very happy that I’m involved. I know that it’s a hugely important thing– everywhere.”