Kevin used the resources around him – a cabin with a great history and friends who love cycling- to create a super unique fundraiser for the Roulant. Read his story below.
Name: Kevin Brown
What is your connection to the Roulant? I have been involved as a volunteer for the last 10 years. I started off doing deliveries, then I worked as a bike mechanic. I also volunteered a little bit as a photographer.
Tell us about your event. The Ciboire du Lac Noir is a faux triatholon where about 25 people bike from Montreal to my family’s cottage nestled in the Laurentian hills, outside of Morin Heights. We cycle 100 km then swim 200 m out to the island where the cabin is located and then there’s a final (and optional) run of 200 m around the island. The second day is spent relaxing and we bike back on the third day. We bike up in teams to make sure that there is a good distribution of bike mechanics (in case of flats or other problems). Teams dress up in wacky costumes to add to the fun and make meals for the group. Each participant contributes to the expenses which includes a $40 donation per person to Santropol Roulant.
The story behind the name is that the cabin was once inhabited by a priest, and one summer when I was a child I found his garbs in a dusty corner in the attic. To add to the faux competitiveness of the event, I initially thought to name it “la Coupe du Lac Noir” but then I thought the “Ciboire” would bring in the the mystique of the cabin’s past.
Why did you decide to do this event? I wanted to benefit the Roulant. When I first got involved, I met a lot of other bike mechanics through Santrovelo who were similarly motivated to get involved in the community. The participants of the Ciboire bike trip are all somehow connected to the organization or the bikeshop and the Roulant represents our values. There is no other organization with a better fit, especially for a group of such avid cyclists as ourselves.
For how many years have you been organizing this event? 5 years.
If you were to plan another fundraiser for the Roulant in the future, what would you do differently? Over the years, I have learned to share out the responsibility for organizing the event so it becomes a combined effort. It is relatively self-organizing at this point; I just send a few emails! It goes really smoothly. Every year I try to improve it and next year I’ll try to put more effort into sourcing local food. I would also like to lower our costs by getting a friend to supply the beer.
What is one tip you would give someone who is organizing a similar event for the Roulant? I suggest doing a fundraiser that’s unique and that has a natural attractive force. Do something that you love, involve your friends and all the rest will naturally come together. The money was always peripheral; it’s an occasion to centre a group of people around an activity that we all have in common.