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Richmond community rides to remember educators, supports students

The annual Richmond School District Scholarship Bike Ride was filled with warm welcomes and emotional reunions

Dozens of cycling enthusiasts from near and far met up at Burnett secondary on Saturday morning to ride for a good cause and celebrate the Richmond community spirit.

The bike ride started as a way to remember two Richmond educators and cycling enthusiasts – former McNair secondary principal Lorne Bodin and former vice-principal of McKay elementary Targett Ng.

Now on its 11th year, the event has blossomed into an annual fundraiser to support local students.

“It’s always special to be together with colleagues and friends,” said Rob Laing, who organized the event with fellow educators Jim Allison and Jason Leslie.

He added that for many participants, the event takes them back to the days they spent with Bodin and Ng.

“And to have a specific day where we can gather to really remember these two amazing individuals, it’s a special day for us.”

Among the familiar faces was Oliver Ng, one of Targett Ng’s sons, who rode his electric bike from North Vancouver to Richmond for the event. Oliver and his brother ride in the event almost every year.

“It feels great being here, seeing all these people here to celebrate Lorne (Bodin) and my dad’s memory. Just feels really awesome,” he said.

The annual ride raised more than $40,000 for scholarships since 2013, benefitting graduating Grade 12 students from all 10 secondary schools in Richmond.

This year, more than $3,000 has been raised so far and will be divided into $500 scholarships. The next goal is to raise at least $5,000 so each of the 10 high schools will get a scholarship.

As the cyclists set off for a breezy ride down the Railway Greenway, excited for the barbecue awaiting them at the end of the ride, they were cheered on by Jan Bodin, Lorne Bodin’s wife.

“It’s just such a lovely community. And Lorne was so involved in the school system for so many years and made such amazing friends and colleagues. And it’s just so nice that they come together once a year for him and Targett and have a great day and do something that they both love,” she said.

“I find today super emotional, but in a really good way.”