The Heartland Tour made its annual stop in Antigonish July 9; with cyclists enjoying the Cape George loop before an event at Columbus Field.
“[The tour] is a public awareness and engagement campaign presented annually by the Cardiac Cycling Society of Nova Scotia,” a release on the tour’s website – heartlandtour.ca – reads.
“Our team of volunteers works with private and public partners, community leaders and people like you to encourage Nova Scotians to choose a more physically active lifestyle.”
The website messages include ‘mission’ and vision’ statements.
“Plan and deliver the Heartland Tour as an effective vehicle for raising the awareness of the benefits of physical activity and encouraging all Nova Scotians to enjoy at least 150 minutes of physical activity of their choice each week,” the mission portion reads.
“A Nova Scotia where physical activity is a normal part of everyone's day,” notes the vision statement.
Dalhousie University medical students Louis Martin and Kirsten Weagle were part of this year’s team. Both did last year’s tour as well.
“Today was great. The ride was nice, we had beautiful weather and everyone seemed to be having a good time,” Martin said, as the group was wrapping up their time at Columbus Field and in Antigonish.
“It was my first longer ride of the season, so it was great to get out with everyone and back on the bike,” Weagle said.
Martin became involved in the tour last year as part of a research project and Weagle decided to join in upon hearing about it from her fellow student.
“I signed up to do research with Nick [Giacomantonio] on the tour last year, and came back this year because I loved it so much and wanted to get back on my bike this year; it has been great so far,” he said, referencing one of the tour’s leaders in Dr. Giacomantonio, standing only a few feet away.
“Louis was doing his project with the Heartland Tour so I came along last year and loved it, so I decided to come back this year,” Weagle said.
“And it’s great to see the community come together and help facilitate such a great event. Also nice to have some local bikers come out and join us, and all the kids having fun in the park here.”
Martin noted the picturesque scenery all the cyclists enjoy.
“The route, the country-side; I was able to see Cape George and I hadn’t seen it before … it’s a beautiful view,” he said, a reference to the fact that, while he was part of the tour last year, he didn’t do all the biking portions including missing out on the annual Antigonish and area route.