KPU Cycles for a Cause

30-person tandem bike raises money for Heart and Stroke Foundation

Kyrsten Downton / The Runner

On May 16, a group of 14 Kwantlen Polytechnic University students and staff members woke up early to ride a 30-person tandem bike for charity. The “Big Bike Event” took place at the Home Depot in Strawberry Hill and the participants rode the one ton bike for roughly two kilometres to raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

“We have 17 days of Big Bike,” says D’Arcy Oishi, the area administrator for the Heart and Stroke Foundation for the Fraser area. “A lot of people have done Jump in elementary school. This is like Jump for adults. It’s a pledge-based program.”

Groups of people, including companies, organize themselves into teams to raise money and ride the bike. KPU is just one of many groups to participate.

“Being a co-op student, I was given the opportunity to organize the event and encourage riders to join,” says Lisa Senger, a third-year human resources student and team captain for KPU. “This was the first time I had even heard about the Big Bike, so it was a good opportunity to be a part of the KPU community and to raise awareness.”

This is the fourth year that KPU has participated in this event, but it’s the first year that a team from three different campuses will be participating.

“One of the employees had the initiative to start a team. The last three years we did it at our Langley campus but this is the first year that we have done it at three campuses. We have gotten a huge response from KPU faculty and students as well,” says Senger.

Kyrsten Downton / The Runner

The KPU team from Surrey alone raised over $1,400 this year. Last year, the Big Bike Event raised over $8-million in total.

“Without the money being raised, the research can not be done,” says Oishi.

This year, one of the primary focuses was to raise awareness of the Call Push Restart program, an acronym for CPR.

Oishi credits all the funds and outreach the Big Bike Event has achieved to the people participating in the event, either as the bike riders or volunteers.

“Nothing happens without the involvement of volunteers, of passionate people,” she says.

Senger hopes that KPU continues to participate in the Big Bike Event every year and to help do their part in raising funds and awareness.

“When we are waving those pom-poms and maracas, that’s bringing people aware of the Big Bike,” she says. “It’s just so much fun. You might think it is just a bike but you are having so much fun with your friends and colleagues. You are also doing it for a really good cause and essentially helping save lives.”


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