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77 years old and riding 115 km for a good cause

MAY 30 There aren’t too many 77-year-olds who would be ambitious enough to bike 115 kilometres in a day, but that is what Guelph’s Mike Diamond has decided to do on June 26 as a participant in the 3rd Annual Tour de Guelph.

Riding 115 kilometres at any age is no small feat let alone doing it when many his age may be too nervous to even swing their leg over a bicycle seat.

“I just never stopped, that’s the thing,” replied Mike when asked about his age-defying riding ability.

Mike and his supportive family (l-r) wife Rosemary Diamond, grandchildren Sarah, Michael and Emily McGaugh. For many, riding 115 kilometres in a day wouldn't be possible. Guelph's Mike Diamond has done for the past two years and been the top fundraiser both times! (click on photos to enlarge)

In fact, on most weeks throughout the summer, Mike will ride close to 150 kilometres. He’s been riding all his life and it became a summer activity he enjoyed with his wife and children. Then, when he was in his 40s, he was inspired by his eldest daughter and registered for his first triathlon – a sport that includes a swim, bike, then a run. Nowadays, he puts the emphasis on swimming and biking as the running is “a little hard on my joints.”

But why ride the longest distance in the Tour de Guelph? Mike explained that his wife has been undergoing cancer treatment since 2012 at Guelph General Hospital. He described the staff and support as being incredibly dedicated, friendly and kind which has really helped his wife get through this difficult time. When Mike learned of the first Tour de Guelph cycle ride in 2014, with his love of cycling, it seemed like the natural thing to do – to register, ride and raise money for the hospital that treats his wife with such care.

Since that first ride in 2014, Mike has participated every year and has already raised a total of $4,040 for the Guelph General Hospital and Rotary Clubs of Guelph South and Guelph Trillium. Last year, he was the event’s top fundraiser.

This time round, one of Mike’s daughters and a granddaughter will join him. The rest of the family will be cheering them on along the route. Mike’s goal is to raise another $1,500 and he’s already well on his way to becoming top fundraiser once again – you can visit the Tour de Guelph website and see Mike’s name near the top of the list of top fundraisers.

To support people like Mike and his family, anyone can register for one of the Tour de Guelph routes. Visit tourdeguelph.ca for full details.