They are badass because they want to give under-privileged children across this great nation an opportunity to play sports. They figured that the first way to make this happen was to start a charity and to name it Odyssey for Opportunity. Biking across the country to raise awareness and funds for their cause is the platform. These three chicks could finish a colosseum of enraged minotaurs without breaking a sweat, but alas we don’t live in Rome so pumping the pedals for over 8,000 KMs is the next best thing. Did I mention that they are badass?
Roughly three years ago Jenny returned to her hotel after celebrating the end of the World Ball Hockey Tournament in Newfoundland. It was the wee hours of the morning when in walked three cyclists and Jenny jokingly inquired as to whether or not like she, they had been out painting the town. They responded that no, in fact they had just arrived in Newfoundland after having finished cycling across the country. This little nugget of inspiration made a huge impact on Jenny and ever since then she has wanted to herself partake in a gesture so grand.
Geneva it has been said, entered into this world twenty four years ago swathed in sports gear, cleats and all. She spends most of her spare time coaching children in a variety of sports, so to embark upon a charity driven adventure seemed to be a no brainer. It was decided last January 2011 that Jenny and Geneva would undertake the massive challenge of cycling across Canada to raise awareness and support for children who have not had the opportunity to get involved in sports, whether recreationally or competitively.
Jill, another born sports enthusiast, decided to join the ranks because she knew that an opportunity like this simply doesn’t present itself everyday. She has never done anything like this before, and claims that, “it would take more training and discomfort than I have ever known.” Masochism meets philanthropy, I like it! Before OFO she had no real experience with fundraising, and is overjoyed to be given the chance to affect the lives of others on such a grand scale… that and Peachtree TV discontinued re-runs of Saved By the Bell.
The trip will commence this coming June out of Vancouver, BC. The trio expect to do it in 75 days making roughly 75 stops along the way, barring any unforeseeable delays. That is approximately 8,105 KMs and on some days they will bike for a duration of 8 hours. My gluts ache just thinking about it. They are going to have a small team of drivers accompany them in a donated trailer, so that they will have a mobile kitchen, washroom, and a place to stay, as camping may not always be a viable option. There have been fundraising events planned for some of the stops along the way and they hope to accrue some supportive cyclists for certain legs of the trip, a la Forrest Gump. They will complete the journey in St. Johns Newfoundland mid-August. I hope to be there to greet them with a flurry of back slaps… and beer.
Their concept has been incredibly well received so far, and while they are waiting eagerly for feedback from their desired title sponsor, they have quite a few reputable allies on board thus far. These include Napoleon BBQ, Durham Regional Police, Skiis and Bikes, and Toronto based eco-fashion label Muttonhead Collective. OFO holds charity events to further their progress as well. In November they had a Bar Night at Alto in Toronto and at the beginning of March they are holding a charity bowling event in Oshawa… More to follow of course.
How You Can Help:
Check out their website and their blog for more information, their route and stops, to make a donation, or to send it on to spread the good word. We will also be making regular updates during the ride with pictures and videos of their experiences. We are very excited and enthused to support such an amazing group of women, and their epic cause. Get on Board!