Due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s (MJFF) Tour de Fox Cycling Series has shifted gears but is still pedaling forward. On Saturday, August 29, cyclists located near the in-person events scheduled to take place in the Pacific Northwest, Wine Country and Atlanta are uniting with participants located all over the globe to take part in a unified virtual ride.
Since 2016, the Tour de Fox Series has gathered thousands of cyclists and supporters in California, British Columbia, South Carolina, Ohio, New Jersey, Texas and Georgia. Now, those that were unable to participate in a local event— due to availability or proximity — have an opportunity to join this incredible Tour de Fox community. In this four-part blog series, MJFF asked participants from local Tour communities and beyond about why they committed to the virtual Tour de Fox ride on August 29.
Next up, meet Len Grant of British Columbia, Canada. Len was part of the first-ever Tour de Fox in 2015, a summer-long series of hiking, biking and running adventures that later became the Tour de Fox Cycling Series we know today. Len, who lives with Parkinson’s, has already reached his fundraising goal two times this year as he continues to raise the bar in support of critical research.
MJFF: How long have you been participating in The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Tour de Fox Series?
LG: Since the first iteration of the Tour de Fox which also involved hiking. I scrambled up Grouse Mountain in 2015, and met Michael J. Fox at the top.
MJFF: Why did you get involved in the Tour de Fox Series?
LG: I wanted to fight back against this disease. I tried everything I could to stop it from advancing in me, but the science isn’t there yet. Getting money into research is simple and satisfying, and one day it will bring about a cure.
MJFF: What do you enjoy most about the Tour de Fox Series?
LG: The spirit of friendliness and cooperation everyone seems intent on maintaining. Everybody I meet at a Tour event seems like they are trying to keep it fun, even while going about the very serious business of raising money for research.
MJFF: How have you adapted your fundraising in this new virtual environment?
LG: I have tried to be more diligent about staying in touch with everyone online. But I seize every opportunity I can stand six feet away from someone and thank them to their face for their donation.
MJFF: What are your plans for the virtual ride?
LG: It’s going to a real beauty. A ride for the ages through the beautiful Saanich Peninsula, north of historic Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. We start off in my townhouse development where I will get an opportunity to thank my dear friends and neighbors (from a distance!) for their kindness and generosity in supporting my ride. What follows is 40 kilometers of farmland, ocean views and trees hundreds of years old. This ride is packed with picture possibilities. We will have about six smart phones, a couple of cameras, and a drone when we ride on August 15, the original Tour de Fox Pacific Northwest event date. Click!
MJFF: Any advice for newcomers to the Tour de Fox community and/or first-time fundraisers?
LG: Do what my late mother Anne recommended, “Be hopeful, helpful and cheerful!"
There’s still time to join Len and the entire Tour community. Click here to learn more and sign up for the virtual Tour de Fox ride today! If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.