As a rider in PWA’s Friends For Life Bike Rally, you have the chance to choose whose team you will be part of for the Bike Rally. Your Team Leaders are dedicated to checking in on your training progress, passing on important information for your Bike Rally experience and most importantly, helping to make the Bike Rally a fun and safe event. As posted in the last Bike Rally Bulletin, team selection will be open between January 11th to 13th and every rider that registers before January 11th will have the option of choosing which team they will join. There will be more information in the coming weeks about this but for now, let’s introduce you to the Team Leaders that have volunteered their time this year. Scroll below to read their bios and learn more about them.
Barrett Morrison & Brandon Hamilton
Barrett Morrison: I am so gosh darned excited to be a team lead for the first time this year, my third on the Rally, especially since I get to do it with my amazing partner, Brandon. Having done this a couple times in the past, and loved it, I feel ready and happy to answer questions and assuage any fears. The Bike Rally is an amazing experience in itself, but what makes it incredible are the people who do it. Come join the team, it’s going to be a blast.
Brandon Hamilton: This is my second year on the bike rally and I’m very excited to be a Team Lead this year. My partner and Co-Lead Barrett was key in helping me through the ride and this year I’m excited to pay it forward to my team making the ride as smooth and fun as possible! Join us for a life changing adventure to support an amazing charity!
Dianne Hind & Perry de Man
Dianne Hind: I have participated in the PWA Bike Rally for Life for 2 years. I felt blessed to have had Robb Walker and Ted Robinson as my team leads helping me on my journey. Now that they have new obligations within the PWA, I felt it was my time to step up and help this very important organization. I am still a newbie with the bike rally but if you are on my team, I will help you with training; advise when I can; and provide motivation in any way possible! I look forward to riding with you!
Perry de Man: It took me three years to get up the nerve to sign up. As soon as that first day was over, I was hooked and signed up for year 2 in Montreal. And here I am, a 55 year old CPA, participating in my fourth Bike Rally, and looking forward to being a Team Lead.
Rodney Rousseau & Rob Micacchi
Rodney Rousseau: I’ve met so many amazing people through the ride and feel so fortunate to have found a community through this experience. As a PhD Candidate in Immunology I spend my days doing HIV research, and as a gay man living with HIV I spend much of my free time is doing HIV work through my position on the PWA Board of Directors, and other community organizations, but nothing quite compares to the sense of meaning that comes through being a part of the bike rally.
Rob Micacchi: Every year I have participated in the Rally has been completely unique, shaped by weather and the people who make up the event. Each year feels different but the same. I am drawn to this Rally for the challenge of the seemingly impossible task of cycling to Montréal, all the new personalities and how they mix with each other, raising money for a good cause, and spending the middle of the summer outdoors for a week. This will be my 5th year on the Bike Rally, and I am excited to be co-leading with Rodney Rousseau.
Matt Lamb & Steve Yeates
Matt Lamb: I’m excited to return to PWA’s Friends for Life Bike Rally for my 7th year. The physical challenge and helping PWA with the support of friends and family brings me back year after year. It is an amazing feeling to arrive in Montréal after all we’ve accomplished. Last year my dad rode with me and he signed up in November to do it again this year! This is my fourth year team leading and I’m thrilled to be leading again this year with Stephen Yeates. Every year the ride is an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Every year is a fun new adventure and I look forward to sharing the experience with you!
Steve Yeates: After more than a decade participating and benefiting as a rider in the F4LBR it’s about time that I took a turn leading a team. The Rally has become a part of my life. The sense of mission and the warmth of the Rally’s culture are palpable. The event itself is unforgettable as a physical challenge enveloped in a space of acceptance and support. I’m looking forward to taking the Team Lead with Matt Lamb and helping guide, mentor, troubleshoot and share in the pleasures and pains – or should I say rains – of #F4LBR19.
Shae Byer & Faye Jose
Shae Byer: 2017 will be my 14th year involved in the Bike Rally, but will mark a return to more involvement in the event for me, as well. My experience of the event has been a long, rich, and life-changing story, and I have felt very privileged to be part of others’ stories along the way. Integral to my continued reason to ride is the support of this agency that I believe in so deeply! I am very much looking forward to getting to know new and “old” participants that I haven’t met, offering support and community, and learning together along the way. Thanks for being part of this big adventure!
Fay Jose: I have been involved with the Bike Rally since 2008 as a crew member, crew lead, steering committee member, rider and training ride support person (when I adopted myself into a team just so I could stay engaged) AND I own the last hill on day one where I have been known to ‘pull’ everyone up it with a megaphone! Such fun! Passionate about PWA and the work that is done and the volunteers who make it happen…this is my cause. Looking forward to sharing the journey with everyone on this year’s ride.
David Homer & Warren Duffy
David Homer: After being on the Wellness Crew as a Chiropractor for 4 years I decided that it was time to ride. 2011 was the first year. I was a person who never rode a bike; I had serious doubts about being able to get to Montréal, let alone enjoy it. But I said I’d give it a try, I started spinning in December, purchased a bike in March, got on that bike in May and was riding 600 km to Montreal by July. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d get hooked. Now I don’t even think about how many km are ahead of me. It’s all about laughing, new friendships, camping, bonfires, riding faster to catch up to someone or slowing down to enjoy the scenery, and most importantly–knowing that I made a difference. The Bike Rally offers an enormous amount of support. You won’t be alone on this amazing journey! I look forward to supporting you on your quest to achieve the reason why you joined PEA’s Friends For Life Bike Rally.
Warren Duffy: This is my 6th year riding in the Friends for Life Bike Rally. I’ve been a Rider, a member of the Steering Committee, and for the first time this year, a Team Lead! During this time I’ve met some amazing people and built strong friendships, on and off the road. I continue to be inspired by the work of PWA staff and volunteers, and the impact the work they do has on the lives of those affected by HIV/AIDS in Toronto. I have fond memories from each team I’ve been on over the years, and the hope that David and I have for our team, especially new riders, is that you have a positive and welcoming experience, while having fun raising money for this great cause!
Trevor Hopman & Dallas Pomeranz
Trevor Hopman: This is my 5th year participating in PWA’s Friends for Life Bike Rally, my 3rd as a Rider and my 3rd as a Team Lead. I originally joined the Bike Rally as part of the Starbucks sponsorship but quickly fell in love with the event, the Participants, PWA, and all of my new Friends for Life, including my Co-lead Dallas. I cannot wait to share my passion and the fun year ahead with everyone this year, one kilometre at a time!
Dallas Pomeranz: This will be my second year on the Bike Rally and my first year as a team leader. I never saw myself being a cyclist and after my first year on the ride when people asked me what my hobbies were I was happy I finally had more to say then just “wine, coffee, and Netflix”. Doing the rally with such an amazing group of people, all committed to a common goal has to be one of the most life changing experiences you can have. The people you meet, the challenges you all face together, and the fun of camping with friends and just being on your bike cycling through Ontario and Quebec will make a lasting impact!
Billy Curtis & Tim Ledger
Billy Curtis: I have been blessed with the ability to be a Rider with the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation Friends for Life Bike Rally for three years since I moved here from the U.S. After hearing about so many experiences from friends and past Riders, I knew that I had to contribute my time and effort to such a worthy cause.
I have been working with PHAs since I was 18 years old, functioning as a healthcare professional in Nephrology and other departments in several areas in the Northeast U.S., from as far north as New Jersey and south as Washington D.C., both areas highly impacted by this disease today. Working with such a community has been beyond humbling and I have gained as much from this foundation as I have given and maybe even more. It seemed like the appropriate move to take another step in my contribution to this year’s rally and join the Steering Committee, to continue to help make this ride as amazing as it has always been and will be in the future.
I am grateful for this opportunity and must thank all those who helped guide me towards the growth that has come from being a part of this wonderful organization and fundraiser to help relinquish the stigma and bring light to those in our area living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.
Tim Ledger: I’m happy to be back for my 8th year on the Rally and 2nd year as Team Leader to help guide a team of exceptional volunteers to an amazing journey from Toronto to Montreal. I’m looking forward to working with Billy in creating a fun experience for new riders as well as returning ones, all while helping the Bike Rally support PWA and those in our community living with HIV/AIDS.