As the weather begins to heat up, so does the excitement for this seasons epic rides. Without a doubt, the highlight of the 2017 season was, The Northern Pass. In its inaugural year, the Northern Pass wow'd the crowd and set a new standard for charity rides here in the Toronto area. ~70 riders took to the scenic lake side roads of northern Ontario to create lifelong memories and to fight cancer. All together, they were able to raise more than $160,000 for the Princess Margaret Cancer Hospital.
What makes the Northern Pass so special is that it doesn't just help a very important and personal cause, but it's a ride built for cyclists, by cyclists. For the first year I was asked to help organize the event in advisory role, and to help lead the design of the 3 routes. Looking back, I’m very excited about the success of the event, and that I've been asked to take on an expanded responsibility as a Chair on the organizing board for 2018. Also joining the Chair positions for 2018 are two cyclists who played a critical role in past success. Both Garnet Rich and Wayne Robbins rode in the inaugural event, while Wayne was the highest single fund raiser! And this year they've both come to the table with strong contributions that will make the event even more memorable for all the riders. It's an honour to work alongside such amazing people and see the enthusiasm they bring to the event. What people don't realize is how much time and effort everyone puts into planning an event like this. The Chair members and the Advisors put in evenings and weekends sweating the details so riders can focus on having the time of their life.
So what's going on for 2018? A lot! First, I promise that this years route will be event better. But I won't spoil all the news on that just yet. More details will come in coverage leading up to the event. To help test out the proposed route sections and give everyone a chance to become familiar with the route in advance of August 12th, we are planning to host some route recon and training events. If you’re interested in joining, give us a shout in the comments below.
It's not the just the route that's getting some incremental improvements. Prizes have been stepped up to the next level. If you've been following any of the Blacksmith Cycle, Northern Pass or No. 22 Bikes Instagram feeds you've surely seen the teasers. Well I'm excited to announce this trio has cooked up the most all-time-killer-giveaway. Who want's to win a titanium frameset with a complete build kit with wheels and components from Chris King? Yes, that's a rhetorical question because we all do. This prize has a MSRP of $8300MSRP and if that's not good enough, the winner can upgrade to the chart topping Aurora or Reactor and even customize their build for a small fee. All you have to do to win, is sign up to ride in, Northern Pass, and raise money. Along the way to helping fund cancer research you will earn ballots in the draw. There's a whole formula but the simple answer is, the more you raise, the more chances you'll have! There's even a promo code for registration below.
While the No. 22 titanium bike giveaway may be the top prize, there will be more (even something from me perhaps?) But even if you don't win a draw prize there will be something for everyone. Last year each rider received a cap, bottles, and socks, but this year they've up'd the ante. Thanks to some incredibly generous donors, the first rider gift to be announced is a custom designed Team Jersey from MAAP. Yes, that MAAP. The classy kings of kit from down under. If you haven't heard of MAAP, I don't know what rock you've been living under. The MAAP Team Jersey has a $185 MSRP so right off the bat you're getting a great giveaway for hitting the fund raising goal. As we get close to the event I hope they'll let me start to leak some of the design details. If you're signed up for the Northern Pass, watch your inbox for an email. You'll need to confirm sizing ASAP. If you're keen to work ahead, check out the sizing chart on the MAAP website (link).
With about 4 months to go until the August 12th event, the ride is far ahead of last years pace with 153 riders already signed up. One thing I'm really stoked on is that the Bikes On Wheels Women will be returning again. And this year they'll have an even bigger contingent with 18 members already signed up. I'm 100% all for supporting more women in this sport and having ridden a lot of the Northern Pass with the BOWW group last year, I can say it made a big positive impact on the event.
But with a limited capacity, that means we are almost sold out. So if you're interested in joining one of the best cycling events around, you better hurry up. To help you to take the leap, I've got a discount code that's good through May 14th. Head over to the Northern Pass website and sign up with the code "life" to get a half price registration! Don't miss out.