Women from all over the Island leave from Rotary Park in Campbell River Friday morning on their way to Victoria. The 275km ride takes three days and supports the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Grannies take to the highway

Grandmothers to Grandmothers support those caring for African orphans

Campbell River’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers set off this morning on their 275km trek to Victoria alongside their sisters from all over the Island.

The 11th annual ride supports the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s campaign to help African grandmothers who support orphans of those affected by AIDS.

The grannies, as they call themselves, train for months to be ready to do the ride, according to rider Lisbie Rae.

“Most of us have been training through the winter, with serious training starting in April,” Rae says. “Our training leaders have done a fantastic job of getting us from being out of breath at the simplist hill to being ready to do this fairly major undertaking.”

The ladies are all at least 55 years old, and Rae says as a group they span all levels of rider.

“Some of us are extremely fit and cycle all the time and are endurance-conditioned riders, and some of us, like me, have been extremely grateful for all the training rides we’ve had to get ready for this. I hadn’t been on a bike since I was a teenager, really, until I joined the cycling group in Victoria.”

Along the way, the grannies are helped out by other chapters with lodging and food. All expenses incurred are paid for by the riders themselves so that all of the money fundraised can go towards the cause.

You can help them reach their $60,000 goal – which they have almost reached – by donating here.