This blog was originally shared as part of the launch of #RoadtoCACUSS 2017, a bike ride from Toronto to Ottawa embarked upon by 19 SA pros from a couple institutions in Ontario.

We’re hitting the road again, and this time we’d love for you to participate in the journey! #RoadtoCACUSS 2017 will take us to our nation’s capital, by cycling approximately 475 km from Toronto to Ottawa from June 5-9, 2017!

On the original #RoadtoCACUSS, those who traveled in the RV jokingly asked “…why don’t we bike to Ottawa?” Intentional planning started in the winter, and now that “joke” is becoming a reality! We are in the process of planning logistics, including: bike rentals, road crew, nutrition and training plans, camping accommodations, fundraising, etc. We’ve realized that this is quite the undertaking, and have reached a point in planning where we would like to invite people to get involved! If you think you might be interested, keep reading for trip details, involvement opportunities, and deadlines.

Why Cycle?

Our goal for this iteration of #RoadtoCACUSS is to raise funds and awareness for student mental health initiatives on our campuses across the country. Mental well-being continues to have a significant impact on our students, and our roles as student affairs professionals, across all functional areas of Student Affairs. The commitment riders will make to our own well-being by training for and completing this long-distance ride will bring attention and further awareness to this cause, and ultimately benefit our students’ experience through fundraising and storytelling.

Of course, as a community of Student Affairs professionals, our ride will involve team building, exercises that will build inclusivity, and opportunities for fun to be had as we ride in community towards CACUSS 2017.

The Route

Whether you’re an expert cyclist or someone who is just learning how to ride a bike, this route is accessible. We will be making pit stops every 20-30 KM to stretch, connect as a team, and ensure refuel as we adventure. The route consists of a few climbs, but is mostly flat cycling on pavement along the Waterfront Trail. The proposed route is:

Day 1: Toronto to Port Hope (Waterfront Trail, 124 KM)

Day 2: Port Hope to Adolpustown (Waterfront Trail, 122 KM)

Day 3: Adolphustown to Kingston (Waterfront Trail, 53 KM)

Day 4: Kingston to Smiths Falls (Cataraqui Trail, 92 KM)

Day 5: Smiths Falls to Ottawa (Trans Canada Trail, 83 KM)

The #RoadToCACUSS2017 Route

Costs & Investment

It’s important to consider the costs and commitment to a challenge such as this, and to compare this to the overall personal investment participating in this experience will provide you.

Through strategic sponsorship and fundraising initiatives, we will seek to offset as many costs as possible to ensure the ride is as accessible as possible. Participation in #RoadtoCACUSS 2017 will require:

  • Commitment to either fundraise or personally fund costs of the ride
  • Fundraising for the cause of mental well-being on our campuses

The goal of the ride is to raise awareness and funds for mental health initiatives on the campuses of those who participate in the ride. After personal financial commitment and sponsorship, we hope that individual fundraising and institutional and external partners donations will contribute significantly to supporting students. Estimated cost of this trip is between 1,200 – $1,400 per rider. Our goal is to decrease costs to less than 50% of that amount. Our intention is to make this financially accessible and details about how individuals or institutions can contribute will follow.

How Do You Get Involved?

There is a group of people from #RyersonSA who have committed themselves to this initiative. We encourage institutions to join us as teams and take care of their own planning using #RyersonSA as a guide (i.e. camping locations, packing lists, logistics, insurance), and we are also happy to help plan for people who would like to sign up solo.

  1. If you’re considering taking part, connect with your supervisor/leadership to discuss this as a possibility as soon as possible.
  2. Coordinate your “team” (4 people or more) or sign up “solo” (3 people or less).
  3. Talk to a doctor or healthcare professional to get ‘clearance’ for a ride (a possible need for  insurance protection). Please ensure you investigate what personal health coverage you have including if this type of activity is covered.
  4. Get on a bike! Participants should be able to cycle a daily minimum distance 80 km by October 2016 and 100 km by May 2017. Remember: spin class is different than biking on the road (weather, terrain, gear shifting, etc., can all impact this experience).
  5. If you aren’t comfortable with the idea of long-distance cycling, there are other ways you can be involved: being a member of the road crew to set up/tear down before and after the cycling team arrives or even the possibility of shorter-distance legs. Sign up to be informed and we will be in touch with more details!
  6. Register and stay informed!

Much of the planning/coordination will happen in the fall once people commit, as numbers will greatly impact this initiative.


  • June 30, 2016 — Recruitment Deadline
  • September–October 2016 — Training rides
  • January 2017 — External Deadline For Teams
  • February 2017 — Road Crew Deadline
  • April–May 2017 — Test rides
  • June 2017 — The Ride

Next Steps

After you sign up, you will be provided with an information package about the details of this ride.

We hope you will consider being a part of this incredible challenge and support this initiative. Questions or comments? Let us know!

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Showing 2 comments
  • Jen Gonzales

    We extend a warm welcome to colleagues from across Ryerson & the country to join us on this adventure!!! Can’t wait!!!

  • Cassie Anton

    So excited for this journey!! I’m sure it will be full of laughter, challenges, perseverance, team bonding, oh and… sore muscles… all in support of a truly important cause!

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