Pair ride in Europe to raise funds for soldiers

A map pointer with the image of a church
 on June 1, 2015

On June 12, Major the Rev. Canon David Warren, incumbent of St. George, Allandale in Barrie, and parishioner Dr. Phil Burridge, a retired emergency ward physician, will cycle through France and Holland on the 2015 Wounded Warriors Canada Battlefield Bike Ride.

Dubbing themselves “Team Body and Soul,” the pair will join 90 other cyclists on an eight-day, 600-kilometre ride to the major battlefields of the First and Second World Wars.

Major the Rev. Canon David Warren (left) and Dr. Phil Burridge will be cycling from Vimy Ridge to Groesbeek Cemetery in the Netherlands.

Each participant is expected to raise $4,000, the funds going to Wounded Warriors Canada programs that assist ill and injured members of the Armed Forces.

The ride is a continuation of the 2014 Wounded Warriors Canada Battlefield Bike Ride from Normandy to Vimy Ridge, in which Canon Warren and Dr. Burridge also participated.

This year, it starts at Vimy and ends at Groesbeek Cemetery in Nijmegen for the 70th anniversary of VE Day and the liberation of the Netherlands.

Canon Warren, who was chaplain to the reserve forces until his retirement in 2013, says last year’s ride was the first long distance cycling he had done. He has been training for this ride ever since, in the gym for the winter months and on the road in better weather.

“Currently we’re supposed to be road-riding three days a week and one of those rides should be approximately three hours long,” he explains. Days on the tour begin at 8 a.m. and, with scheduled breaks, end at 4 or 5 p.m.

The biking should be easier this year, he says, as it starts in the hills of France and ends on the flat land of Holland. “Last year it was a lot uphill,” he adds. ”We found the one day of 120 km was just a little too much for everybody.”

Canon Warren praises the continuing support for Wounded Warriors that comes from Anglican chaplains in the reserves and regular military. He notes that the organization not only provides programs for the ill and injured, it also provides ongoing support for their families.


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