City councillors spin for Friends for Life

Annual bike rally raises money for Toronto People with AIDS Foundation

City councillors participated in a spin-a-thon June 7 to remind Torontonians that only seven weeks remain until the annual Friends for Life Bike Rally kicks off.

Friends for Life co-chair Tim Ledger says Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam came up with the idea as a way to get other councillors involved and raise awareness.

Wong-Tam will be cycling in this year’s bike rally, a trip from Toronto to Montreal to raise funds for the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation (PWA).

Six bike mechanics were also at Nathan Phillips Square to provide free spring tune-ups, including tire and light checks.

Money raised by Friends for Life participants is critical to PWA and helps provide services to the HIV-positive community, including food programs, treatment resources and financial assistance for clients, organizers say.

This year marks the ride’s 15th anniversary. The group’s goal is to raise a record $1.4 million and recruit 375 riders. As of June 3, 352 riders and 76 crew members had registered.

To register or make a donation online, visit

The ride starts Sunday, July 28 in Toronto and covers 600 kilometres in six days to end in Montreal.

Andi Schwartz is femme, a freelancer and a graduate student at York University. Her writing has appeared in Xtra, GUTS, Herizons, Broken Pencil and Shameless. She lives in Toronto with her fur babies, Franny and Zooey.

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