It’s been a busy August for the cycling team from Nielsen’s Bicycles. Thus far, the 44 member strong team participating in the Great Cycle Challenge Canada has cycled roughly 8000 km and raised more than $33,000 – and they’re not even halfway through the month yet.
“Comradery is important to us,” says Charlotte Southworth, who runs Neilsen’s along with Matt Nielsen. “As a new business, having opened in 2019, we wanted to ensure we kept our vision clear – and that was to provide excellent sales and service in all things bicycles, but also to engage with our community, grow the sport and give back all at the same time.”
The new business found a perfect outlet in the Great Cycle Challenge. The event started in 2016, and after just 5 years, it’s grown to become one of the biggest cycling events across Canada. People of all ages, abilities and from every province across the country set themselves a personal riding goal and challenge themselves to pedal throughout August to fight kids’ cancer.
“The Great Cycle Challenge has allowed our cycling community to come together and motivate and inspire each other to push their limits as a rider but also to raise funds for Sick Kids Foundation,” says Southworth.
As part of their first effort in 2020 Team Nielsen’s set themselves what they felt was an ambitious goal – to cycle 5,000 km as a team and raise $5,000. By the time all was said and done they had eclipsed their targets, cycling some 15,000 km and raising $26,600 in funds for children’s cancer research.
“Individuals rode on their own, or in group rides or pairs to chip away at their km goals, and used social media and word of mouth to encourage their friends, families and colleagues to donate to such an incredible cause,” says Southworth.
This year hopes were high with more than 40 riders on the squad and local businesses like Momma Bears Ice Cream, Katalyst Brewing, Muskoka Bear Wear and Muskoka Granola chipping in to help fill swag bags for riders.
Just 13 days in, things are going better than anyone could have expected. As of this morning, Nielsen’s has now raised the fifth-highest donation out of more than 1,000 teams in the country.
Anyone who would like to donate can do so at https://greatcyclechallenge.ca/Teams/NielsensBicycles.
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