BIG RIDERS

What you need to know.

Big Rider FAQs

Click through the FAQ’s below to learn more about this year’s BIG RIDE.

General Information

What is the BIG RIDE?

The BIG RIDE is a charity bike ride. In past years we have cycled from Halifax to Austin, Texas Vancouver to Austin, Banff to Boulder, Ottawa to Halifax, the Cabot Trail, Iceland and even the Austrian Alps!

This year GIVETOLIVE will be exploring Quebec’s beautiful Gaspesie region with a 5-day, 500 km loop along the Gaspe peninsula. This trip will be June 22-26, 2019 with 50 cyclists.

Riders can expect to cycle an average of 100 km a day for 5 days over coastal terrain, ending with hotel accommodation every night (very luxurious for the BIG RIDE!).

When will the route be available?

The general BIG RIDE route is route 132 between Campbellton, NB around to Sainte-Anne des Monts, QC with evening stops in Carleton, Chandler, Gaspé, and Madeleine Ctr. While a large portion of the ride will be along this rural highway, there will be some legs through towns, smaller streets as well as an optional add-on on Day 4 through a breathtaking National Park.

I’m not a serious cyclist. Can I still participate?

Although we will have a number of experienced riders, this adventure is about the “cause”, not about setting cycling records. We LOVE having new riders join our family.

All levels of cyclists have participated in past rides, from people who have ridden a bike their whole lives, to people who had bought their first bike three months before the ride. You do not have to be a serious cyclist, but you do have to be committed to getting in shape and getting comfortable on the road.

BIG RIDE participants will be divided into teams of five or six. Teams will ride single file on the shoulder of the road, and average approximately 25 km/hr over rolling terrain.

Can I bring along a family member / friend?

We encourage you to share this opportunity to see the Gaspe Peninsula with your friends and family, but space in the support vehicles will be limited to volunteers. GTL does however require volunteers as support vehicle drivers.

If a friend or family member has a valid license, and a willingness to help, then perhaps they may be interested in applying by email to bigridedirector@givetolive.ca. Preference will be given to volunteers who have first aid and bike mechanic skills.

How challenging will the Ride be?

Any multiple day bike-ride is bound to be challenging, but the BIG RIDE will be manageable for those who commit to a reasonable training plan. You will complete on average 100 km/day, spending approximately 4-6 hours a day in the saddle. Each team rides together and all team members help and support each other throughout each day.

Some riders look forward to the break-through physical challenge, while others may decide on a particular day that they need a little more time enjoying the view from the support vehicle. There is absolutely no pressure for each rider to complete every kilometre.

How do I train?

The best way to train for a multiple day bike-ride is to get on you bike and ride 3 -5 days a week over the spring. Start out with shorter distances and work your way up to back-to-back 100 kilometre rides. Do not get discouraged if it is challenging at first. Just keep riding and it will get easier!

Please check out the GIVETOLIVE website for a suggested training plan.

What kind of weather can I expect?

Try as we might, GIVETOLIVE cannot control the weather. We will be cycling along the water in Coastal Quebec in June, so you can expect cool temperatures at higher altitude, and warm temperatures in the valleys.

Riders must be prepared for rain and wind. Safety is always GIVETOLIVE’s first concern. If conditions are not safe to ride in, we will not ride. But a little rain has never hurt anyone, so be prepared to get a little wet.

How does riding in a team differ from riding by myself?

Cyclists will ride single-file in teams of five or six. By riding single file, riders will be able to draft off each other, making it easier to go faster and longer, with less effort. To maximize drafting, riders ride as close to the back wheel of the rider in front of them as possible.

If you have never ridden in a group, please contact GIVETOLIVE and we will set you up in a group ride. If you are not in Nova Scotia, contact a local cycling group and go out for a ride with them. All BIG RIDE participants must participate in a group ride prior to June.

I don’t bike, can I still come on the BIG RIDE?

If you would like to come on the BIG RIDE without biking, we can provide you the information of the hotels the group is staying at so that you may get accommodations close-by.

Only volunteers are allowed in the support vehicles – you can apply to be a volunteer and if you are ‘hired’ on, your accommodation and transportation would be covered by GIVETOLIVE. If you have questions on this or want to know if you qualify, please email us at bigridedirector@givetolive.ca! Each year we have new ‘soigneurs’ who join the BIG RIDE. It’s no cake-walk, there will be problem-solving and doting on riders to make sure they have everything they need – it’s hard work but our volunteers keep coming back every year and tell us it’s a special and rewarding experience 🙂

How will the “culture” evolve on the road?

You will be meeting, riding and travelling with, supporting and relying upon a special group of individuals, committed to the war on cancer. There will be inspirational moments, endless laughter and a few tears along the way. We will become a “family” and everyone will walk away with new life-long friends.

We will have special “treats” but acknowledge that we are a “no-frills” ride when it comes to a lot of luxury and extras. That way we can maximize the donations to the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute.

It sounds like lots of fun. What else can I do to get a sense of what to expect?

Yes, this is supposed to fun and there is no shortage of laughs. Have a look at the links to our videos on YouTube. We have posted a number of videos that were developed prior to and after, previous BIG RIDEs.

Halifax to Austin 2008

The BIG RIDE 2009 Promo

The BIG RIDE Vancouver to Austin 2009

WindPushers BIG RIDE 2010 Opening Credits

BIG RIDE Vancouver to Austin Texas 2010

Fundraising

What will the money raised by The BIG RIDE and given to the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute be used for?

The Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute is a collaborative research centre. At this time, the funds are not dedicated to a specific research project, and will be directed towards the area of most need at BHCRI.

As an example, last year we raised over $90K and that provided project grants, as well as funding to engage additional grad students to conduct groundbreaking research and trials locally in immunotherapy, genetic modification studies, zebrafish treatment studies and drug testing, and much more.

What percentage goes to the cause?

We work very hard to reduce the expenses related to the event to maximize your donations. It is anticipated that approximately 90% of donations will go to cancer research.

I don’t like fundraising, what do I do?

There are few people who actually like fundraising. However, each rider must raise at least $2,000, by whatever means possible. Please look at our fundraising tips page for ideas on how to raise your money. If you are interested in group fundraisers, please contact GIVETOLIVE and we will try to help you connect with other riders.

Once you start talking to people you will be amazed at how generous they will be. In the past, riders have raised over $20,000. Everyone has been affected by cancer in one way or another, and people are very willing to donate to such a great cause.

Registration & Costs

How do I register?

Registration is capped at 50 riders so register soon to claim your spot. After 50, would-be registrants can email bigridedirector@givetolive.ca to get on the waiting list.

I’ve registered, what’s next?

It’s simple:

Fundraise a minimum of $2000 by securing donations and staging events. We will set fundraising benchmarks for reaching specific totals as we move through the spring.

Get yourself in shape and ready for the ride of a lifetime. Prepare to ride 100 km each day for 5 days. See the training document posted on our site for more details. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us. If you would like, we will also put you in touch with former riders who will be happy to share their experience and advice with you.

Announce to your friends what you have signed up for, and help us recruit more riders and spread the word!

What does my registration fee cover?

Your registration fee will help to cover some of the expenses of your participation in the BIG RIDE. GIVETOLIVE will pay for your accommodation and transportation throughout the ride.

GIVETOLIVE will also be responsible for tour organization including communications, logistical support, ground transportation and fundraising advice, among other things. Some meals may also be provided by supporters along the way.

Are there deals at local bike shops?

GIVETOLIVE has been lucky enough to receive great support from both Hub Cycle and Bike Monkey, located in Truro, Nova Scotia. Hub Cycle and Bike Monkey will provide those who have registered with the BIG RIDE with 20% discounts.

Hub Cycle and Bike Monkey have very knowledgeable staff and are well worth the trip from Halifax.

And a bit of advice when shopping for gear for your BIG RIDE: if you tell the bike shop what you’ve signed up for and ask if they can offer a special discount for you as a new rider or in honour of this great event, many times they will say yes!

Logistics

How do I get to the start in Campbellton, NB?

We will be providing bus transportation for riders as well as bike transportation from Halifax, NS bright and early the morning of June 22, 2019 to get to the starting point in Campbellton, NB.

This will be a great bonding opportunity for BIG RIDERS as the ride kicks off but for those who prefer to make alternate arrangements, they must be at the starting point in Campbellton with their bike by late morning on June 22.

How does a typical day on the tour work?

By the start of the tour you will be grouped with 5 – 6 other riders. You will ride independent of other teams.

Each team will be provided with a support vehicle, to be driven by a volunteer driver.

Every morning there will be a morning meeting, to go over the route, and things learned the previous day.

You will have flexibility to determine the time of day you wish to depart to cover the daily distance, allowing you to rest, socialize or use the remaining part of the day for sightseeing, etc.

Each night we will be in a different location. Accommodations will either be at hostel, or budget hotel. Remember, we are trying to raise money for cancer research, so do not expect luxury accommodations!

What else do I need to know about my Team?

We will be responsible for establishing Team make-up and will consider any special requests provided at the time of registration. Each team will have a Captain or leader who will be one of our more experienced riders and someone who has participated in previous BIG RIDEs.

What happens if I am injured?

We will have people on The BIG RIDE who have first aid qualifications and/or more broad medical experience. Where possible, we strive to have someone on each team with this skill set. You always have the option to take a day off from riding and drive the van or ride only a portion of the distance.

How will my bike travel?

GIVETOLIVE is arranging bike transportation for riders leaving from Halifax, to and from the BIG RIDE. During the BIG RIDE should you be unable to ride for any reason, we have support vans that you and your bike can travel in if the need arises.

Riders who are not taking the bus or are leaving from outside of Halifax are responsible for packing and traveling with their bikes.

Please ensure that your bike is covered under your home insurance. GIVETOLIVE is not responsible for any damage that may occur.