Wheels turning for ERH
As a former nurse and the current co-owner of Westwood Cycles in Port Coquitlam, getting involved in Wheel to Heal was a natural for Kelly Hobbis.
The Port Moody resident has participated in the annual cycling event, which raises money for Eagle Ridge Hospital, since it was launched three years ago.
This year, Hobbis is not only riding the 80 km course, she is also training a team of nurses who are participating in the 40 km route.
The nurses have challenged a cycle team of Fraser Health Authority administrators to see who can raise the most money, and Hobbis said the group needs to be prepared for the rigours of the course.
“We want to show [FHA] what an enthusiastic community we are,” she said. “When they are deciding which direction the money is going, we want them to think it should go to Eagle Ridge.”
For anyone thinking about participating in the Wheel to Heal challenge who has not rode a bike in a while, Hobbis makes several recommendations.
With the exhilaration of dusting off the bike and hitting the road, she said it can be easy for people to over-exert themselves the first time out. Hobbis recommends riding for only an hour or two a couple times a week and gradually building toward longer distances.
“My goal is to be able to take people who don’t ride bikes and get them ready to ride the 40 km,” she said. “You can’t just get on your bike and ride 40 km unless you are at a certain level of fitness.”
It is also important that those considering the Wheel to Heal event begin preparing soon. With the May 15 ride one month away, Hobbis said training should begin immediately.
For the less experienced rider, a 10 km course around the paved paths of Town Centre Park is also good way to get involved, Hobbis said. The more experienced rider may want to consider taking on the 80 km, which takes cyclists up and down the mountains around the Tri-Cities and beyond. The 40 km route is a scenic, mostly flat ride around the Minnekhada loop and the PoCo Trail.
• For those interested in riding or donating to Wheel to Heal, visit www.wheeltoheal.ca for more information.
• Make sure all equipment (helmet, shoes, shorts, bike) is in good working order.
• Make sure the bicycle fits properly.
• Talk to a fitness professional about designing a training program with specific cycling goals.
• Commit to a training plan and schedule training into your weekly routine.
• Make sure to eat and hydrate properly before and after each ride.
• Get comfortable tackling hills.
• Don’t let bad weather prevent a training session — get an indoor trainer if necessary.
• Stretch before and after every workout.
• Know and follow the rules of the road, and ride safely.