The Guardian (Charlottetown)
The Province,
Friday, May 20, 2005, p. A8

Fifty cyclists ride trail Tip to Tip for Africa
Guardian reporter Mary MacKay joins group on four-day fundraising ride.

This afternoon more than 50 cyclists from across the Maritimes and as far away as New York City will push off from the North Cape lighthouse for the four-day Tip to Tip for Africa fundraising ride.

The gloomy long-weekend weather forecast hasn't darkened the mood of Tip to Tip for Africa organizer Martha Deacon of Charlottetown, who has almost been surgically attached to the telephone to get everything lined up and ready for this, as has volunteer Florence Wonnacott.

"This thing is just going to be incredible," Deacon says.

"You should see the sweatshirts, it's worth the ride just for the sweatshirts! They're a gift from Mark's Work Warehouse. And if there's rain today Gordon MacQueen (of MacQueen's Bike Shop) has volunteered rain ponchos."

The ride is in aid of the Townships Project, co-founded by Deacon in 1998. The project provides small loans for poor people in the townships of South Africa. The borrowers, who are mostly women, create small businesses which help them to pay back the money and lift themselves out of poverty.

Of the $400 Tip to Tip for Africa participants have raised for the ride, $350 will be funneled directly to the Townships Project.

"We are privileged to have four days of shepherding, three overnights, 10 meals, four venues of entertainment, a fabulous sweatshirt and numerous bus rides for the princely sum of $50, due to the incredible generosity of our many hosts," Deacon says.

Guardian reporter Mary MacKay will be along for the ride as well. Having completed the Confederation Trail last year all by her lonesome, she's looking forward to doing the Tip to Tip for Africa run, this time with more than 50 other cyclists to chit-chat with along the way.

"I loved it so much last year, I didn't just buy one bicycle after it was over, I bought two," she says.

"But the biggest after-effect of last summer's ride was that I quit smoking because puffing a cigarette on the trail for me was about as awkward as tossing back a plate of fries with the works during an aerobics class. Who knows what will happen with this one!"

The first of MacKay's stories on the trip will be published in Saturday's Guardian.


Illustration(s):

Mary MacKay


Category: News
Uniform subject(s): Aircraft accidents and safety
Length: Medium, 324 words

2005 The Guardian (Charlottetown). All rights reserved.