On Monday, September 19th at 11 a.m., former NHLer Steve Webb and Hall-of-Famer Pat LaFontaine will pedal from the curb of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and begin a 550-mile bike ride to the NHL Store in New York City. Their ride coincides with the start of the 2011-12 NHL pre-season that opens that night. In support of their respective charities, they hope to complete the journey in an unprecedented 48 hours!
LaFontaine’s Companions in Courage Foundation (www.CiC16.org
) builds interactive game rooms and provides mobile XBox kiosks in children’s hospitals throughout North America. He will be passing a number of hospitals that the foundation has aided, including both the Buffalo Women and Children’s Hospital and Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Webb’s W20 Foundation (www.w20foundation.org
) provides young student ice hockey players with partial academic scholarships to continue the pursuit of their hockey dreams. Now the organization also highlights athletes as influential agents of change and creates opportunities for athletes to give back in their communities. Webb also committed a portion of the ride’s proceeds to fund Alzheimer and Dementia Research in Ontario.
LaFontaine and Webb also coach the Bantam Major Long Island Royals hockey team and they hope to use the trip as an example to their players about the importance of commitment to teammates and of giving back to those in need. Webb has previously cycled the route, but he took 8 days to complete the process in each of the last two years. He said, “It will certainly be a challenge to complete the ride in just 2 days this year, but many will benefit from it. That should be a huge motivator for us.”
The riders will be joined by a support team that includes Graham Fraser, founder of Centurion Cycling (centurioncycling.com) – host of North America’s premier series of distance bicycling events. Webb will participate in Centurion’s opening ceremonies in Collingwood, ON on the Saturday prior to his epic ride.
LaFontaine has completed six Ironman Triathlon events, but admits this bike ride will require a unique effort. “We’ve never ridden at night before and I have no idea how our bodies will react to all that time in the saddle. But,” he added, “we’ll be motivated by all of those kids going through the hardest times of their life and I know that will give us the strength to finish.”
For more information on how you can support this endeavor (and earn prizes as THEY ride!) please visit www.CiC16.org or www.w20Foundation.org
To follow the progress of the ride, please visit W20Foundation.blogspot.com