For Superintendent Heinz Kuck, raising money for good causes is as much about the finish line as it is the journey.
This fall, Kuck will be using some of his vacation time to, once again, raise money for Victim Services Toronto (VST) by riding an ElliptiGo – a specialty bicycle – from 11 Division, where he’s the unit commander, to Coteau-du-Lac, a small city in southwestern Quebec.
The ElliptiGo is a stand-up bike with no seat that uses elliptical foot-holds rather than pedals and is more akin to running than cycling.
Kuck plans to do the one-week journey in the last week of September or first week in October.
“Because the elliptical pedals are on a track, riding in the rain become challenging and hazardous,” he said. “I will look at the weather satellite imaging and choose whatever seems to be the best five weather days.”
Kuck will ride along the Great Waterfront Trail, a combination of paths, neighbourhood streets and rural roads that hug the north shoreline of Lake Ontario.
He plans to ride an average of 100 kilometres a day for five days.
“I will stop at small communities along the way to not only sleep but promote the event,” said Kuck, noting the importance of the fundraiser. “I want to ensure people understand the plight of victims of crime and how they can help them recover from these tragic circumstances.
This is the fifth fundraiser Kuck has organized, in the last four years, to raise money for VST which provides 24/7 crisis, response, trauma and support services to victims of crime and sudden tragic circumstances.
In 2012 and 2013, Kuck and 53 Division officers raised $35,000 after completing a 55-kilometre outrigger canoe journey over open water from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Mississauga Sailing Club. In 2014, he covered 120 kilometres over four days with guide Jamie Sands and 13 dogs in Algonquin Park raising $8,800 in the process. Last year, he and Sands completed a nine-night, 10-day dogsled expedition through the Northern Ontario wilderness, raising almost $11,000.
He also did a five-kilomtere run last year to raise money for Dandy, VST’s trauma dog.
“Having done dogsledding in the winter and canoe-crossing and running in the summer, I thought I would do something in the fall and something I have not done before,” said Kuck. “Often times, people use bicycles or run from Toronto to Ottawa. I decided to do a combination of the two since the elliptical bike is more of a running and hand stride on a bike rather than pedalling.”
Kuck has been training for the event since the beginning of July.
“I get on a bike two three times a week and I also do some cardio,” he said. “I will be ready when the time comes.”
Kuck enjoys pushing his body to the limit to raise funds for organizations and charities.
Two years ago, he paddled around the Toronto Islands, a 22-kilometre journey that raised 7,000 pounds of food for 11 Division food banks. Last June, he pushed and pulled a weighted steel sled from his station at 2054 Davenport Rd. to the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club at 180 Westmoreland Ave., raising over $10,000 for the club’s music program for young people.