Couriers, Cops and Firefighters Square Off For a GoodCause

Hideouswhitenoise,Issue 31, Spring 1997

by Sarah The Hood

When you're don't have a place to stay and you need lunch or accessto a telephone; when you're a downtown teenager whose parents don't comehome from work until two hours after you're out of school; when you livein a Harbourfront co-op and you need to find a daycare centre; when you'reold and alone in the downtown core, where can you go?

St. Stephen's Community House in Kensington Market is a place that hasbeen looking out for people in all these situations since the beginningof the century. They teach English as a Second Language; deliver AIDS educationin Chinese and Portuguese; offer a Chinese seniors' social program andrun a homeless men's drop-in (called "The Corner") - and thatjust scratches the surface of what they do for the downtown community.

On Saturday, May 24, couriers, cops and firefighters will be mountingtheir bikes at College Park in a spectacular showdown to raise money forall these programs in the 4th St. Stephen's Courier Classic. The firstcommunity event of the City of Toronto's Bike Week (the event formerlyknown as "Bike To Work Week"), the Courier Classic will run frommid-afternoon right through the evening. The early part of the day willfeature kids' activities organized by police and firefighters. A Trialsevent, jazz band and beer tent will kick in as the evening wears on.

But the highlight of the day is the race itself, with teams of fourriders competing in an urban relay challenge. As last year's spectatorswould agree, it's a tight, exciting course with features you won't findanywhere else - like the finish down the flight of concrete steps. Therace takes in all of College Park (between Yonge and Bay, College and Gerrard),including sections of the underground parking garage. The centre of theaction is the big yellow tent in the College Park courtyard, graciouslyoffered once again by College Park Shops.

Last year the Metro Police Trail Hogs elite mountain bike club enteredboth male and female teams, while the yellow-jacketed, fully equipped policebike squad officers courageously ran the race on their patrol bikes, whichweigh an estimated 44.5 pounds! The firefighters also looked dangerous,but the courier teams (top winners Team Cojiba, plus the Freewheelin' FixedGears, Team Whatever, The Unknown Team and Girls Kick Ass) were the victors.

This year, look for more teams, more challenges (a fire-ladder climb,anyone?), out-of-town racers, bigger prizes, a raffle for a Schwinn ClassicCruiser and other prizes, and about $8,000 to be raised for St. Stephen's.In order to register, teams must sell $100 worth of raffle tickets (that's$25 per person). All comers are welcome.

To find out more, register a team, donate a prize or get involved inother ways, call Derek at 539-7007 or Sarah at 368-5959. See you there!

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