Robin Dutton, left, and Peter Sinclair are taking their mountain bikes and travelling down trails in the Mount Benson area June 19 as part of a 24-hour fundraiser benefiting Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)

Robin Dutton, left, and Peter Sinclair are taking their mountain bikes and travelling down trails in the Mount Benson area June 19 as part of a 24-hour fundraiser benefiting Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)

Full-day mountain bike fundraiser gives financial support for Nanaimo food bank

Event part of Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank’s Food 4 Summer campaign

Two men in Nanaimo are spending their Saturday riding trails on their bikes to raise food and money for those in need.

As part of Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank’s Food 4 Summer fundraiser, Peter Sinclair, food bank executive director, and Robin Dutton, Coal City Cycles’ owner, are braving the trails around Mount Benson in a 24-hour trail ride, beginning this morning, June 19 until Sunday, June 20 at 6 a.m. Pledges per kilometre are sought.

“We’re going to see how many different trails we can ride,” said Dutton. “We figure we’re going to be between 200 and 220 kilometres of the single track by the time we’re done tomorrow … historically we have collected donations from customers at the store and given them to the food bank through a bicycle demo program that we had, but because of COVID, we weren’t able to run that program.

“I wanted to come up with a way that involved cycling and raising money for Loaves and Fishes.”

Mountain biking is one of Sinclair’s hobbies and he said summer is a time where the food bank has seen decreased food donations.

“Historically we see a drop in the healthy non-perishable food items throughout the summer, so a few years ago we started the Food 4 Summer food drive to help address that issue,” said Sinclair. “This year, we have seen a drop in terms of the donations coming in of healthy non-perishable food, so it’s important that we continue to run this initiative.”

When Dutton and Sinclair were contacted about noon on Saturday, they said they were in good spirits and no worse for the wear. They started with a ride to the summit of Mount Benson early in the day.

“It’s a bit of a slog to get up there, but riding Chainsaw Ridge coming down, probably in my opinion, the best trail in Nanaimo,” said Sinclair. “You got to have your wits about you, but just a glorious thing to do on a Saturday morning.”

“Probably best that you’re doing this interview now and not at 3 a.m. when I’m delusional,” joked Dutton.

While the bike-riding fundraiser only lasts a day, people can still donate throughout the summer by going here.

To learn more about the Food 4 Summer campaign, go here.

READ ALSO: Loaves and Fishes eyes site on East Wellington Road



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