It was third-time lucky on several fronts at the 17th annual Toronto Police Stationary Bike Race in support of United Way Toronto.
Finishing third the last two years, 53 Division – comprising Superintendent Scott Gilbert, Staff Sergeant Peter Henry, Detective Murray Barnes and Constables Ravi Virdi, Adam Yurkiw, and John Tanner – pedalled 58.13 kilometres to clinch the top prize and bragging rights.
Henry credited team coach and fundraiser Sergeant Jazen Brautigam, Barnes and Gilbert for leading the way.
“Murray does a lot of cycling and he set the bar really high as one of our first riders,” he said. “Then our superintendent showed that he’s does not lead only from behind a desk, as he did an outstanding time in his ride. Fully motivated, we had no choice but to ride our butts off, which we did.”
Henry promised the team will be back next year to defend its crown.
The Toronto Police Amateur Athletic Association donated $1,000 and the Service’s Senior Officers’ Association made a $500 contribution before the bike ride in sunny conditions outside police headquarters.
Last year, the Service raised $505,000 for United Way.
“When we all come together, like this, to support an important organization like United Way, it says a lot about the character and people of Toronto Police Service,” said Chief Bill Blair. “You represent the very best of us.”
United Way Toronto President and Chief Executive Officer Susan McIsaac attended the Service’s kick-off.
“This is a lot of fun for a real great cause and we really appreciate the Toronto Police support,” she added.
The Cabbagetown Spinners, from 51 Division, were second with 57.83 kilometres while the Toronto Police College Cutters were third with 51.05 kilometres.
A total of 19 teams took part in the Service’s United Way campaign kick-off.
Sergeants Kyle Petrie, of 51 Division, and Julie Tint, assigned to the Toronto Police College, captured the individual awards on their third try.
“The older you get, the harder this ride is on the body,” said Petrie, who pedalled 10.17 kilometres in his allotted 10 minutes.
He was a member of the winning Sex Crimes team four years ago.
Tint, a former marathon runner who participates in the annual National Peace Officers Memorial Run to Ottawa, was surprised she came out on top.
“It’s the worst 10 minutes of my life,” she said. “But it’s the best when you win and it’s all for a good cause.”
The Top Fundraising Team was the Toronto Police Association (TPA) Protectors who raised nearly $1,260 while Tour-de-Fleet and the Memorial Riders won the Best Team Name and Best Costume prizes respectively.