Eleven riders are geared up to ride to Banff after the local Two Wheel View bicycle group have recently finished fundraising.
The group, which is in its fifth year in Drumheller, has raised $11,000 to fund the trip which will take the students from Drumheller to Banff starting August 8.
On the ten day trip, they’ll be stopping along the way for different learning experiences such as a visit to the Morley reservation to learn about indigenous culture and also stopping at an organic farm to learn about environmental stewardship. The riders typically ride 30 to 40 kilometres a day, stopping to camp on the way and cook their own food
Pat Doyle has volunteered to help organize the group for the last three years and says he does it because of the impact he sees on the teenagers.
“I’ve seen the desire for this program on how it builds confidence. It teaches them leadership qualities in organizing and going through with commitments,” says Doyle.
His son Matthew has been involved with the ride for three years and says he initially joined the ride after one of his friends came back to school raving about the trip.
“He came back the next year and was telling us about how much fun he had. The next year I felt compelled to go and once we got out there it was fun biking and everyone got along,” he says.
“Leading up to the first trip I was really scared I wouldn’t be able to do it, that I’d have to stop and hold everyone behind, but we just cheered each other along and supported each other.”
The participating riders this year are Andrew Germain, Mackenzie Lloyd, Ray Tietge, Drew Lloyd, Matthew Doyle, Andrew Phillips, Emma Doyle, Joshua McMackin, Randy McHugh, Will VanDyk, and Levi Munn.
The cost does not cost the teenagers anything with thanks to their fundraising efforts throughout the year and also through the support of sponsors like the Drumheller Kinsmen Club, Rotary, Lion’s Club, Freson Bros., the RCMP, and Badlands Victims Services. Those wishing to donate to the Drumheller group can do so on their GoFundMe page called ‘Badlands to Banff Youth Bike Trip.’