A 92-year-old blind bicycle enthusiast from Niagara is gearing up to participate in his 10th and final Ride to Conquer Cancer.
Bill Wall has raised over $600,000 for the Princess Margaret Cancer Center with his team ‘The Power of Bill’ in the annual event.
Bill told Thorold News that his engagement for the cause began at a 2008 Thanksgiving dinner, when his friend Treena Evans ‘put a bicycle helmet on his head’, and asked if he wanted to participate.
After a winter of hard training, Bill mounted a tandem bike with a partner, and set out for Toronto, after starting in Niagara Falls.
This year is special for the veteran bicyclist – not only because of it being his 10th and last Ride.
“This Ride is special because it will be my last year as a participant and I’ll miss
being with some of the other 5000 or so riders along the route. I’ll miss talking to them at the pit stops and at lunch sharing stories. But most of all, after this Ride I’ll miss being on the tandem and being part of the riders.”
“This year, unfortunately, because there won’t be the same excitement of the opening ceremonies and the start-up of 5000 riders and the sound: “Ready, Set, Ride” it won’t be quite so exhilarating but in spite of it all COVID-19 made this Ride ‘Not where we ride, but why we ride’. And after a 2-year hiatus and in spite of not having been able to train outdoors, this ride means the end of a chapter and will be a memory I will treasure.”
Since the pandemic hit the region, Bill has been forced to lay off the tandem bicycle training due to social distancing and is spending his time at home listening to audiobooks and taking walks with his wife.
But he won’t let the pandemic stop his burning urge to fundraise for a cure.
“Every dollar raised will help the PMCF continue their research to find a cure. So, please, make a donation, no matter how small to www.powerofbill.ca If you want to make a real impact, whether you live in the Niagara area or elsewhere, join a great team and Ride with them. “Steve’s Cyclepaths” is a great team with great team spirit and they’ll welcome you with open arms. Raise your own funds!”
More information about the Ride to Conquer Cancer found here.
EDITORS NOTE: The article has been updated to reflect the correct dollar amount raised by Bill Wall.