The Forest City Cycling Challenge (FCCC), sponsored by Lerners Lawyers, is a new cycling event in the London, Ontario and surrounding area that is raising funds for youth mental health. Proceeds from the event will go to the MINDS project at St. Joseph’s Health Care London – dedicated to tackling complex mental health challenges facing youth in our region. MINDS provides programs, solutions and support for youth in London-Middlesex whose lives are impacted by mental illness. They also work alongside youth with lived experience, community members and researchers to understand and help those living with mental health and wellbeing.
The FCCC organizing committee (which previously organized the Ilderton-based 'Gravel Growler' event) is putting together a week-long, all-ages, multi-discipline cycling event to take place from June 5-13, 2021, to coincide with the beginning of 'Cycling Month' in Ontario. Because of COVID, the 2021 event will be 'virtual', with subsequent years planned to be 'in-person' events.
The plan for 2021 is to allow cyclists to follow their own routes between designated 'checkpoints', and to have a 'passport' that will be used to record arrivals at those checkpoints. The checkpoints may include venues such as tourist sites, stores, cafés and so on, with deals or discounts at those locations provided for registered participants. Completion of the routes and a minimum number of checkpoints would allow for the participant's entry into draws for prizes. Suggested routes will be provided, but it will not be necessary for these routes to be followed. Routes will also be set up to allow for participation by all ages and abilities of cyclists.
Fundraising would be handled by participants and through corporate sponsorships. Participant fundraising would require a minimum amount for entry into the event, with additional incentives provided for higher fundraising levels, and for the entrant with the most funds raised.
Meet The Team
A bike has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. There have been many bikes over the years and they all immediately invoked the same feelings of freedom, speed and adventure.
When I moved to London a few years ago, not knowing anyone, it was the local cycling community that embraced me and helped me turn London into my home.
I like to think of myself as a cyclist that has to work. So when I am not working, I can be found riding in the county around London Ontario or enjoying the many paths and trails in the city with my family.
I am just thrilled to be part of the organising committee for the inaugural edition of the Forest City Cycling Challenge.
Joe shares his passion for cycling with his wife, Liz and their 2 year old son. When not on his bike, Joe works for JMRD Watson Wealth Management and enjoys reading, golfing and planning cycling holidays!
Alfonso Campos Reales
I am so proud to be part of this team and its mission to raise funds for youth mental health. I am also excited to bring this mission together with our shared love for cycling, which continues to be so important to my own mental health.
The feeling of freedom I get when I’m on a bike never gets old. Cycling gives me time alone with my thoughts, and clears my head from the hustle and bustle - everything gets blocked out and I loved that about riding. Cycling also means enjoying nature through trails and the sights and sounds in the countryside. And there is nothing like getting on our bikes as a family with our two young boys with the simple question of “So, where do we want to go?”
I sit on the Board of St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation and, as a Londoner, I am so proud of St. Joseph’s proven commitment to healthcare innovation and discovery. It is no surprise that this event, which supports St. Joseph’s partnership with the MINDS project, is very close to my heart.
When I’m not with my family, my volunteer work or on my bike, I practice law and am a Partner at Lerners LLP, practicing exclusively in the areas of plaintiff personal injury and class actions.
Background coming soon.