Families, children and cyclists from across Lambton County are being invited to Wyoming’s McKay Park on Sunday, Aug. 28, to participate in a family-friendly event that promotes bicycle and road safety, supports The Children’s Hospital and pays tribute to the life of a kind and generous soul.
The third annual Ride with Pride bike and road safety day is set to take place at 10 a.m. in Wyoming. The event is held in honour of the life of Lori Neville, a cheerful and buoyant local resident, mother, wife and avid cyclist who was killed on Aug. 20, 2020 while cycling for a childhood cancer research fundraiser.
In past years, the event involved a bike ride in Lori’s honour, said Lori’s widow Natalie Neville. This year, the event will be much larger in scale, Natalie said, to better reflect Lori’s big-hearted personality.
“The first two years we just did a ride and that was it, but this year we decided to add a bunch of new things,” she said. “The major thing that we added is that the OPP are coming to do a road and bike safety session for kids and their parents.”
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., members of the OPP will provide bike and road safety lessons to all in McKay Park. The first 150 children who take part in the presentation will receive a free sports drawstring bag full of numerous items donated by local businesses and organizations, include a bike light, a water bottle, a first aid kit and much more. Adults will also get the chance to win a door prize draw.
“We also added some attractions to bring more people and families to the event,” Natalie added. “So we have bouncy castles, free face painting, airbrush and glitter tattoos, and the Wyoming Pool is open for three hours for free swimming.”
The memorial ride for Lori takes place at noon.
“We’re doing the ride at noon and it’s going to be about four blocks in Wyoming,” Natalie said. “We’re going to go down Toronto Street down to Main and then ride on the sidewalk along Broadway Street to raise awareness, advertise the event. We’ll have people at each intersection to do traffic control to keep it safe.”
Food will be available during the day as the Wyoming Lions will be cooking up some food on the barbecue and cool treats can be purchased from Dips Soft Serve ice cream truck.
All in all it will be a fun day filled with laughter and smiles, Natalie said, reminiscent of Lori, who absolutely loved putting on and participating in these sorts of events.
“Our goal this year was to do something in the spirit of Lori,” she said. “Lori loved planning events, when she worked at Lambton College that was one of her favourite things that she did there. Her focus there as well as in life in general was to put a smile on everybody’s face. She was always right there trying to make the kids have fun, doing silly things with them, so that was kind of our goal with the whole event this year. We wanted to give this tribute back to her.”
Proceeds from the event will be donated to The Children’s Hospital through The Great Cycling Challenge.