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

‘Dream come true’ for flower-retrieving trio of figure skaters

Cloverdale, North Delta girls chosen for special task during Grand Prix event at UBC

Surrey man’s death prompts call for change

Hospital beds for patients with both medical and mental-health issues are ‘very limited’: coroner

Surrey needs more Mounties now, city councillor says

Linda Annis says public safety cannot be put on hold while city forms its own police force

Volunteers sought for White Rock Christmas Bird Count

Annual inventory of feathered friends set for Dec. 29

‘It’s just taking your dreams away’: Cloverdale farmer worries ALR changes will kill house plans

Kevin Buttar’s house has been in progress for five years; new rules may have him starting all over

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Vancouver Whitecaps lose Kei Kamara, protect 11 players from expansion draft

The club added two goalies, a winger and a midfielder during Major League Soccer’s half-day trade window

Most Read