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Engineers cycle for kids

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Engineers cycle for kids’ cancer camps


By Amanda Snyder

Next month, a group of professors from the Schulich School of Engineering will be testing their passion for bioengineering and the outdoors on the long highways of Alberta. The school is sponsoring Dr. Neil Duncan, Dr. Christopher Hunter and Dr. Steve Boyd—along with University Technologies International’s Paul Cataford—in the July 21-22 Tour for Kids 2007, a fundraiser for children’s cancer camps in Alberta.

“Supporting camps for kids with cancer has a tangible and very positive impact on these kids,” says Boyd, a mechanical engineering professor. The camps help sick children and their families build courage and friendships, as well as provide emotional support and medical attention.

Tour for Kids 2007 is a two-day cycling journey around central Alberta that will cover up to 326 kilometres. Themed “Ride Somewhere Meaningful,” it starts in Calgary, heads south to Longview and finishes with an overnight stay at the children’s cancer camp—Camp Gardner—in Bragg Creek. On day two, the cyclists head north to Cremona, then turn back to Calgary.

“Lots of engineers seem to like the biomechanics/kinesiology link for cycling or any sport,” says Duncan, a civil engineering professor. “As a kid, nothing was more exciting than taking bikes apart and building new ones.”

All team members are regular road cyclists. However, some team members admit this trip may present more challenges than they are used to, as it covers 150 kilometres on the first day. “If it gets windy or hot, it could become a grind,” says Duncan.

The biomedical engineering expertise that they share has also unexpected advantages. “My main appreciation of bioengineering connected with riding is that I am even more sure that I want to avoid injury,” laughs Boyd.

Donations to help the team meet its fundraising goal of $15,000 can be made at www.tourforkids.com/. For more information contact Amanda Snyder, Schulich School of Engineering, 403-210-8480 or asnyder@ucalgary.ca.