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10,000 km to end youth homelessness


From right to left: John Stephenson with his Beau’s Virtual Ride teammates David Chernushenko and Joe Pross.

John Stephenson loves biking, beer, and giving back to his community.  

So, when it was time to sign up for Beau’s Oktoberfest Virtual Ride again, he didn’t hesitate. Having participated in a few Beau’s rides over the years, he wanted extra motivation this time—not just for himself, but for his family, friends, and teammates.  

That’s when he had an idea: 100 kilometres, 100 times, by the end of the Beau’s Virtual Ride on October 14, 2021.  

To do it, he would need to cycle for more than four hours a day, at least every other day, for four months straight. He only had one stipulation for not going out: rain.  

“It was hard sometimes with the body being sore and all, especially in the morning. The hot summer days also made it challenging at times, but I made sure I went out as early as possible. It was quite nice being on the road, mostly alone.”

John asked a few of his cycling friendsincluding former Ottawa City Councillor David Chernushenko, to join in his 100 x 100 challengeHis team biked from Ottawa to Vankleek Hill to the Gatineau Hills and everywhere in between. 

By October 14, John had accomplished it! 100 kilometers, 100 times, and more than $5,000 raised to end youth homelessness.  

Although the ride was virtual due to COVID-19, John still had a blast.  

“The virtual ride was a motivating factor for me. It’s easy to sit back and say I don’t want to go out and cycle, but when it’s convenient to just get up and go, and you have a challenge in front of you, it feels good to get it done.”

It wasn’t just about the cycling for John. He also saw the ride as an opportunity to make a difference through fundraising for those less fortunate than him: “The group I’m with, we’ve all won the lottery in life. We’re born in Canada, to a good family, have gotten a great education. There are a lot of people out there that didn’t get that, and it’s time to share the wealth.” 

John Stephenson was one of 235 participants who raised $50,416 to support youth experiencing homelessness through the 2021 Beau’s Oktoberfest Virtual Ride.  

Thanks to the generosity of Beau’s Virtual Ride participants like John during this challenging time, United Way East Ontario is able to continue building strong communities that can weather any storm.   

Photos submitted by other participating teams in the 2021 ride, including supporters from Mercer Canada and Nokia.

The Beau’s Virtual Ride would not have been possible without the support of our incredible sponsors! A big thanks to Kunstadt Sports and Bike Centric for their help in bringing this event to life.   

Bike-Centric, Beau's, Kunstadt Sports logos



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