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Gearheads donates elite E-bike for OVCATA raffle

Gearheads gives OVCATA a big boost with donation of a Specialized e-bike for a fund-raising raffle. From left: OVCATA Board members Eric Price and Ron Moss and Gearheads owners Margo Johnson, Mark Johnson.

Gearheads gives OVCATA a big boost with donation of a Specialized e-bike for a fund-raising raffle. From left: OVCATA Board members Eric Price and Ron Moss and Gearheads owners Margo Johnson, Mark Johnson.

PETAWAWA: Many people don't know what an E-bike is yet, but some lucky person is going to win one in a November raffle organized by the Ottawa Valley Cycling and Active Transportation Alliance (OVCATA).

The bike, a a Specialized Turbo X e-bike worth more than $5,000 donated by Mark and Margo Johnson, owners of Gearheads in Petawawa, is being used to raise money for the OVCATA's activities promoting cycling, walking and other non-motorized transportation. Tickets for the raffle cost $5 and will be sold at Gearheads and by OVCATA at events like the Tour de Whitewater and Tour de Bonnechere and by OVCATA members. One thousand tickets were printed.

"Mark and I are both passionate about the business and we are very proud to be a part of this community," said Margo Johnson, who has owned the store with her husband since 2017. "We love biking, skiing and the outdoors. Plus we are taking care of our health and showing our kids how important it is to stay active even as an adult."
 

E-bikes are electrically assisted bicycles. Gearheads and OVCATA see e-bikes see them as helpful to getting people to overcome reluctance to ride. "E-bikes offer the opportunity to improve your overall strength throughout your body," said Margo. "Whether you are a long-time bike rider or someone brand new to our favourite hobby. Everything from steering, pedaling and balancing an ebike, promote stronger and healthier muscles, bones and joints. Specialized turbo/ebikes allow you to go further, faster as you rediscover the joy of cycling. The e-bike provides just the right amount of pedal assistance in any situation.

OVCATA's co-chair, Ish Theilheimer, and its secretary, Ron Moss, welcomed the donation. "The people at Gearheads are visionaries," said Ron Moss. "They have been leaders in active transportation for years in Renfrew County. We are so thankful for their generosity."

OVCATA plans to have e-bike demonstrations around Renfrew County to encourage their use. "The e-bike is a good way to get people onto bikes who were hesitant," said Moss.

A prime goal for Gearheads is "to make Renfrew County a hub of outdoor tourism in Ontario as a part of the Active Transportation Network," Margo Johnson says. "The network already provides a myriad of opportunity for cyclists of all ability to explore this incredible region in both built up and natural environments. We are also hopeful that encouraging active transportation will have a positive impact on the overall health of the community and encourage families to take part in these activities together, promoting life long habits for children to keep active and engaged in a healthy lifestyle."

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OVCATA is a voice for cyclists and all active transportation enthusiasts in the Ottawa Valley, advocating for safety and good conditions, bringing people together, and encouraging participation. Here are some of the things we accomplished in our first year.

2019 directors of OVCATA

Co-chairs: Ish Theilheimer (Golden Lake)
Patricia Krose (Whitewater Region)
Secretary: Ron Moss (Pembroke)
Treasurer: Debbie Fiebig (Renfrew)
Members at large:
Andrew Kalnins (McNab-Braeside)
Bob Peltzer (Bonnechere Valley)
Eric Price (Pembroke)
Pat McGregor (Renfrew)

Robert Howe of Barrys Bay provides legal advice and support.