Big Bike raises big dollars for Heart and Stroke Foundation

Various Kelowna organizations have been taking a spin on the Heart and Stroke Foundation's big red bike to help raise money for the charity.

Riders from Coldwell Banker take a ride on the Heart and Stroke Foundation's big red bike.

Two thousand participants, 10 communities and one gigantic bike are the ingredients in the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s recipe for fundraising success.

With hopes of raising over $100,000 in the Okanagan and Kootenay area alone, it seems that their fundraising method is a success.

The big red bike started rolling through Kelowna’s downtown streets on Wednesday and will continue to do so until Saturday. On Monday it heads to West Kelowna to complete the tour of 10 Okanagan and Kootenay communities.

The bike is being ridden by various groups and organizations that have supplied riders to fill the 29 vacant seats.

“You need 15 people just to move it—it’s a big bike,” said Joanne King, Okanagan/Kootenay area manager for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

“Everybody pedals and one person steers.”

With 84 event days, the Big Bike visits 50 communities throughout all of B.C.

King said that riders are trying to raise $1.4 million in 2012 for life-saving research, health promotion and advocacy.

The massive pedal-powered machine has drawn positive remarks from passersby, said King.

“Everybody has got a smile on their face. Either that, or they’re looking like: What is that?

“That’s also what the events for—it’s about raising money, but it’s about raising awareness too.”

King said that ride times are filled up for this year, but it’s never too early to sign up for the 2013 Big Bike event.

For more information, visit bigbike.ca.

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com