In September 2017, Sergeant Pete Viol of the Waterloo Regional Police Services (WRPS) will embark on his third long distance cycling journey, raising funds for the Regional Cardiac Care Centre at St. Mary’s General Hospital, and awareness of the importance of women’s cardiac disease.
In 2015, Sergeant Viol took on the “Tour Divide”, a grueling, self-supported mountain bike race held on dirt roads and remote trails of the Continental Divide in western Canada and the United States. His 3,000 km journey took him through the mountain wilderness terrain of Alberta and British Columbia, and on to Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado.
In 2016, once again self-supported, he pedaled the back roads and rail trails of the Canadian East, from St. John’s Newfoundland to Ottawa, Ontario covering 3,000 km. Countless individuals from both Waterloo Region and the small communities of Eastern Canada provided incredible encouragement and donations for the 2016 Chowder Tour.
In September, 2017, Pete will take on another bike adventure, riding self-supported from Vancouver to Waterloo Region, a distance of approximately 4,300 km. He will trim down on his equipment to allow for a faster, lighter ride. Due to the distance of this ride, Pete will keep to paved roads.
Raising awareness for women’s cardiac disease has a special meaning to Pete. In 1980, Pete’s 20 year old wife Monique died of complications following a heart transplant. According to Pete “the memory of that time will always be with me. I hope that through the Canadian Heartbeat Tour, I can build awareness of women’s cardiac disease and help avert similar tragedies in other families.”
Sadly cardiac disease continues to be the leading cause of death in Canadian women. Only 1 in 5 women consider heart disease to be a health threat, but the fact is 1 in 3 women die from heart disease each year.
The goal of this tour is to help build awareness of women’s cardiac issues and to raise funds for patient care equipment in the Heart Rhythm Program.