Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie

June 12th to 15th

I had a cycling event planned out since fall of last year. More than a cycling event, Le Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie is an event than has been created for charity purposes. Pierre Lavoie unfortunately lost 2 of his kids from a rare infantile sickness. From that point on, he and his team have been reinventing  events for community awareness towards healthy lifestyle practices.

The event I was part of is called the 1000km. 200 teams of 5 people need to cover 1000km on bicycles (the pedal kind) over a few days. In order to register, you must gather 11 000$ as a team. This money is used towards research in rare infantile sicknesses. Most teams gather more and whatever you raise outstanding of the 11 000$ can be transferred as a donation to the schools of your choice. The money has to be spent towards sport equipment or other stuff that promote a healthy lifestyle. This year, we were able to give 8000$ each to 2 different schools. It makes a world of difference for them when you think about their yearly budget of around 400$ to purchase new equipment. Even though the 1000km is probably the most iconic event, Pierre and his team were able to involve more than 80% of all elementary schools in Quebec to exercise more this year. I truly believe they are changing the face of our community’s  health at a much faster rate than any government initiative right now.

So the 1000km is a cool experience. The distance is broken down into various stages of about 100km. Some stage require 1 team member, some all of them. Most stages require 2 members. I cycled a bit more than 450km in three days. Stages run through the night as well and I got to experience it a few times. Quebecers are mostly supportive of this initiative and there were supporters almost everywhere along our route. You would arrive in a town at 3am under pouring rain and people would be out on the streets cheering as we arrived. It was quite a unique experience. Aside from the facts that it rained for 80% of the time and that I had not been on my bike for 3 weeks before it started, I truly enjoyed it. My teammates were awesome, our captain had everything organized and our driver (for the support RV) was quite smart at finding ways to sleep longer. I wish I could do it next year.

Mountain bikes?

Mountain bikes?

There was an open event on Saturday for another 4000 cyclists to join in. My brother Marc-Antoine and my sister Virginie completed the 135km under pouring rain. I was proud of them as it was the first cycling event they were part of. Conditions were nasty and they still managed to keep a smile on their face until the end. I really enjoyed my day with them.

My brother and sister outdid themselves to complete the 135km under the rain!

My brother and sister outdid themselves to complete the 135km under the rain!

Sun came out for the final 200km. We were all taking part of the final 25km up to the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

Arriving in Montreal

Arriving in Montreal

Helicopter

Helicopter

Captain Ben

Captain Ben

photo 5

photo (2)

 

Arrival at Olympic Stadium

Arrival at Olympic Stadium

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