The Grandmothers Campaign is an initiative of theStephen Lewis Foundation.

Cycling Creating Community

Health, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being”. Did you know that there is an ever-growing community of senior women in Victoria, Saanich and Sidney who are working devotedly and joyfully to improve their own health, and that of their community? These are the dozens of grandmotherly cyclists training for the Victoria Grandmothers for Africa Cycle Tours. This September will be the 13th time that a group of about 30 members of this group have ridden their bikes from Campbell River to Victoria over 3 days. And it will be the 5th time another group has achieved their goals of completing 50km in a day, with both groups converging on Centennial Square together on National Grandparents Day! The potential difficulties, and the rain-or-shine commitment to the event, create a feeling of solidarity with the energetic and tireless African Gogos this group of women, and their sponsors, are supporting.

This is my fourth year riding with Victoria's cycling grannies; I started in my second week of living in Victoria. I am still not fast enough for the spinoff group “Sisters of No Mercy”, but if I rode more days per week I could be! Three members of our group have lost their mothers since I joined, and one woman unexpectedly lost her husband just before Christmas. A Vancouver cyclist who rode with us in 2016 showed up for training this week, having just come through two years of dealing with breast cancer, chemo and radiation treatments. So many have come back to cycling with one of the groups after serious injuries and surgeries – broken hips, knee replacements, ripped tendons, heart surgery.

Knowing you are going to cycle every Monday morning all year round, weather permitting, with these strong, resilient women creates a tremendous sense of belonging to a community, as well as a sense of commitment to your shared activity. The group is a great motivator.

Research has shown that social engagement is associated with positive health outcomes. Multiply that by considering the time spent on their bikes and in the outdoors. These Victoria women are contributing to the health of their entire community by maintaining their health and energy so they can support others and each other, and by not needing support from the diminishing number of younger working people.

If you, or someone you know, would like to consider joining the VG4A Cycle Tour training rides for this year, contact Laurie Wilson at vacationlauren@gmail.com. In August of last year, Stefa and her husband stopped to help a group of our cyclists deal with a tough chain jam. Stefa joined us for training the next week, did the 275-km tour in September and is the now the co-chair of the VG4A Cycle Tour 2019 Committee!

References

WHO definition of health: Last JM, ed. A Dictionary of Epidemiology, Fourth Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Research has shown that social engagement is associated with positive health outcomes. Berkman LF, Glass T, Brissette I, Seeman TE. From social integration to health: Durkheim in the new millennium. Social Science and Medicine 51(2000):843-857.

Submitted by: Laurie Wilson, Victoria Grandmothers For Africa, Media & Communications for Cycle Tour 2019, mobile: 250-818-3929   Victoria Grandmothers for Africa

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Upcoming Meetings

Held at Comox United Church, 250 Beach Drive, Comox


— 2019 —

September 23

November 25

— 2020 —

January 27

March 23 (AGM)



Glacier Grannies meetings are a time for the entire membership to get together to celebrate successes, plan upcoming projects, learn about the work of the Grandmothers Campaign, and enjoy friendship and refreshments.


Join Us

african dinner

You are welcome to come to a meeting to find out more about us.

?

Upcoming Meetings

Held at Comox United Church, 250 Beach Drive, Comox


— 2019 —

September 23

November 25

— 2020 —

January 27

March 23 (AGM)



Glacier Grannies meetings are a time for the entire membership to get together to celebrate successes, plan upcoming projects, learn about the work of the Grandmothers Campaign, and enjoy friendship and refreshments.

      Please  Join  Us

african dinner

You are welcome to come to a meeting to find out more about us.

?