Now-Leader reporter Amy Reid joins the Newton BIA’s ‘Tour de Friends’ team as they pedal the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s ‘Big Bike’ through Surrey streets to raise funds and awareness. (Photos: Amy Reid)

VIDEO: Riding the Big Bike for heart and stroke in Surrey

Now-Leader joins Newton BIA crew as they pedal through Surrey to raise money for heart and stroke research

The sun was shining, the leis were on and the music was blaring from the speakers of the Big Bike in Newton on a sunny Tuesday afternoon.

As they did last year, the Newton BIA’s “Tour de Friends” team of more than 20 riders hopped aboard the “Big Bike” in Newton on May 15, to raise money and awareness for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

This year, I decided to tag alongside the local business folk, Transit Police, Commissionaires and many more who joined the crew, brought together by Philip Aguirre of the BIA.

We pulled out of Newton’s King’s Cross shopping centre cheering, led around the town centre by a police escort.

The honks, smiles and waves of those who stopped on the sidewalk to cheer us on were too many to count.

Business owners stepped out of their storefronts to add to the cheers.

Kids stopped and waved.

“It’s a heart-pumping, cheer-thumping, crazy big, fun ride,” the Heart and Stroke notes on its website. “For 20 minutes, 29 riders power one Big Bike…. While you pedal, you literally stop traffic to support critical heart disease and stroke research, so you’ll feel good, while doing good. But be warned: The minute you stop, you’ll want to climb right back on. It’s that much fun!”

It was a lot of fun, but beyond that, it was amazing to learn just how many of us are impacted by heart disease and stroke.

My family, sadly, has a connection of its own. My dad is still recovering from strokes he had in his early 50s. He remains in a wheelchair to this day, and continues his fight to one day get out of it.

One of my teammates I met at the ride was Rick Bayer, who is chairman of Peninsula Homeless to Housing. He shared with me that his father suffered strokes when he Bayer was just a child.

He remembers being in and out of hospital, when his father was in his 30s.

Later in life, heart disease took his father’s life.

And we’re far from alone. Heart Research Institute says that every seven minutes in Canada, someone dies from heart disease or stroke so countless families have endured the same.

In fact, last year the team rode as a token of appreciation to emergency responders who helped save one of their own in the local business community.

Spiro Saites of Newton’s Old Surrey Restaurant had recently survived a dramatic heart attack.

“Saites’ story is a great example of why we raised, and need to keep on raising funds for the research of heart and stroke,” stated a 2017 release. “Without everyone’s contribution, they would not be able to continue to provide their crucial services within our community.”

homelessphoto

(The ‘Tour de Friends’ team gets ready to pedal in Newton on May 15.)

Aguirre said “heart and stroke has touched everyone’s family at the BIA, from uncles to parents and grandparents.”

So, we ride — raising awareness, spreading smiles and hopefully, making a difference.

Together, our team raised just shy of its $1,500 goal, among side the many other Surrey teams that turned out on May 15 including Surrey Firefighters who raised $3,000, the Wheels for Wellness team, which raised more than $5,000, and many more.

Last year more than 70,000 riders in over 200 communities across Canada raised over $8 million for research.

And this month, Heart and Stroke Foundation is launching a new campaign they’re calling #TimeToSeeRed, zeroing in on startling statistics — that heart attack symptoms go unrecognized in more than 50 per cent of women and that two-thirds of clinical research focuses on men.

“Every 17 minutes a woman in Canada dies from heart disease or stroke,” reads a Heart & Stroke tweet. “It’s time to stop women dying unnecessarily.”

For more information, and to donate, visit heartandstroke.ca.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

Team BC defeats its hosts at junior curling nationals Sunday

Tyler Tardi and his team have played and won three games in the Canadian championships, so far.

UPDATE: Olympic softball qualifier to be held in Surrey

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

Surrey resident to speak about erasing Alzheimer’s disease stigma

A goal of Dona McMorland is to erase stigma attached to the disease

Vehicle rollover in Surrey

Surrey Fire Service responded to the collision on the 19500-block of 60 Avenue

VIDEO: Three-peat for Semiahmoo at basketball’s Surrey RCMP Classic

South Surrey-based squad tops Lord Tweedsmuir in final at Enver Creek gym

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Crash closes Coquihalla southbound lane south of Merritt

Accident occurred approximately 26 kilometres south of Merritt

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

Most Read

l -->