A cycling tradition with an environmental lean will continue as the Ride For Clean Energy returns to Maple Ridge for the seventh consecutive year.
The annual charity ride was created in memory of Tyler Lewis, a bio-chemical engineering student from Maple Ridge who died in a ski accident in 2012.
It has already awarded 11 $10,000 grants to help fund clean energy graduate research projects.
“It means different things to me on a couple different levels,” said race organizer, Carl McBeath.
“On an emotional level, it helps me validate everything I felt with Tyler being my close friend.
“It helps his spirit live on and makes me feel like I’m carrying on his legacy.
“On a different level,”McBeath continued, “It’s important because I think sustainable energy and renewable energy is such an important issue, especially at this juncture in history .
“It’s something I’m passionate about and everybody else on the board of the foundation is passionate about. It’s helping us feel like we’re contributing to a cause that is super powerful and important.”
The race will cater to a wide variety of riders.
There will be two courses set up of differing lengths and cyclists of similar fitness will ride in packs together.
“The idea of this ride is it’s not a competition and it’s not elitist and it’s not exclusive to high performance cyclists,” said McBeath.
“We want to make it inclusive. We want to make it so that people of all fitness levels and cycling abilities are able to participate in the ride.”
During its seven year history, 265 cyclists have taken part in the race with 100 percent of their fund raised money has been donated directly towards clean energy research.
Registration for the ride is open and the organizers are expecting up to 60 riders to participate.
For more information see www.rideforcleanenergy.com, or www.tylerlewis.ca.