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

Police believe one man responsible for spate of Surrey sex assaults

RCMP release sketches of groping suspect Friday afternoon

Surrey council to consider $357-million parks and rec plan, including 29 new parks

The 10-year draft plan includes two new athletic parks, new ‘urban’ parks in Newton, Guildford and Fleetwood Town Centres

North Delta rugby teams take home gold, bronze in Fraser Valley finals

Seaquam boys finished on top of their division, while Burnsview and Seaquam girls battled for third

OUR VIEW: Surrey’s traffic gridlock is madness

Sick of getting stuck in the seemingly never-ending construction on Surrey roads? So are we.

Seaside Surf’s silver highlights recording-breaking week at nationals

South Surrey volleyball club wins eight medals at Volleyball Canada championships in Edmonton

Black Press Media to launch Pipeline Full of Controversy series

Series covers Trans Mountain’s history, science, Indigenous reaction, politics and economics

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

B.C. jewellers warn public about fake gold scam

‘They are playing on people’s sympathy and their greed’

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

UPDATE: RCMP on scene to remove homeless housing protesters

Residents blocking the installation of modular housing in Maple Ridge

Toronto Raptors star to hold basketball camp in B.C.

DeMar DeRozan is hosting a four-day camp for players aged 6-16 at the University of Victoria

Most Read