Anyone walking through the main lobby at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre on Saturday will have seen a Colwood resident grooving to some tunes while on a spin bike.
Graham Hales took on the challenge of riding a spin bike from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the recreation centre to raise money for the Cycle of Life tour, a two-day, 200 kilometre bike ride that benefits hospice care on Vancouver Island.
The entry fee for the charity ride is $1,000 but by Saturday, Haley had already raised over $4,000 with the help of friends, family and social media.
“I want to raise the most donations,” Hales said while on the spin bike. “I’m a pretty driven guy…I don’t just show up, I show up and I try to conquer whatever it is.”
In order to keep cycling all day, Hales said he has to maintain a speed of about 80 rotations per minute. As a spin instructor who cycles much faster than that during his hour-long classes, going slow was proving to be a slight challenge Saturday morning. As a reminder, Hales stuck a note on the bike that said “go slow.”
Throughout the day, Hales dismounted the bike every hour for about five minutes in order to use the washroom and fuel up.
Friends and supporters of Hales also took turns on a spin bike next to his in order to keep him company.
Hales still gets emotional when thinking about why he is supporting Vancouver Island hospices.
“I’ve lost some people close to me, last year,” Hales said. “It hits home.”
Last year, Hales lost a friend to ALS. He noted that the pain he will feel while on the bike is less than the pain some people under medical care deal with on a daily basis.
Hales will participate in the Cycle of Life Tour on July 20 and 21 with two teammates who form the group, ‘Breaking Wind.’ Together, the team has raised around $8,000.
The cycling route will take riders through the Saanich Peninsula, Cowichan Valley and the Gulf Islands over the course of two days with an overnight stay on Salt Spring Island.
Hales collected donations throughout the day Saturday and will continue to collect them online here. He has promised to raise at least $5,000 to help keep Vancouver Island hospice care in motion.