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, the Austrian Alps, and around the Gaspé Peninsula!

The 2021 BIG RIDE will travel the beautiful and scenic Rails to Trails bike path along the lakes, rivers, and coastline between Halifax and the South Shore. The trails are built on converted railway tracks, are well-maintained, level, and suitable for cyclists of all experience levels.

You’ll cycle ~200km in two days along the beautiful Rails to Trails path system from Ashburn Golf Club-Old Course (3250 Joseph Howe Drive, Halifax, NS) to Oak Island Resort (36 Treasure Drive, Western Shore).

When will the route be available?

The BIG RIDE route is an approximate 200km round trip over two days along the beautiful Rails to Trails path system from Ashburn Golf Club-Old Course (3250 Joseph Howe Drive, Halifax, NS) to Oak Island Resort (36 Treasure Drive, Western Shore).

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.

Can I bring along a family member / friend?

We encourage you to get your friends and family to sign up and share this experience with them. We also need volunteers to help support the event so if you know of anyone who is interested please have them reach out to us at 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. The trails are built on converted railway tracks, are well-maintained, level, and suitable for cyclists of all experience levels.

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!

What kind of weather can I expect?

Try as we might, GIVETOLIVE cannot control the weather. We will be cycling along the water in June, so come prepared for a variety of conditions.

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.

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 traveling 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 our chosen charity.

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 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 $1,500, 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:

1) Pay your registration fee by e-transferring $149 to operations@givetolive.ca Be sure to include your first and last name and “BIG RIDE” so we know who to match it up to. All fees are due by March 1, 2021 to secure your spot.

2) Fundraise a minimum of $1,500 by securing donations. We will set fundraising benchmarks for reaching specific totals as we move through the spring.

3) Get yourself in shape and ready for the ride of a lifetime. Prepare to ride 100 km each day.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at bigridedirector@givetolive.ca  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.

4) 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, including dinner & breakfast at Oak Island Resort, on-the-trail snacks, branded water bottle & t-shirt.

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

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.

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.