Ryder's 'Welcome Home Shindig'
Fans, supporters, Tour de Victoria volunteers and fellow cyclists filled Parkside's atrium on Friday, Sept. 16, 2011 to welcome home Ryder Hesjedal, celebrate the success of the inaugural Tour de Victoria (which took place on May 28, 2011) and to support Ryder's Wheelmen/Wheelwomen Ride Bicycles initiative.
The night kicked off with a barbecue hosted by M&M Meat Shops and live music courtesy of the Casey Ryder Trio. Guests got to check out Ryder's ultralight bikes on display while footage of the 2011 Tour de Victoria and the Tour de France played on a big screen. Wheelmen/Wheelwoman T-shirts were also available for sale at the event, with the proceeds going to support young up-and-coming cyclists through Ryder's Wheelmen initiative.
Mayor Dean Fortin was on hand to introduce Ryder, who happily signed autographs and posed for photos with fans throughout the event.
At the end of the night, the Aviawest Cycling Society presented awards to talented young athletes Annie Ewart, Craig Logan and Adam DeVos. Every year the Aviawest Cycling Society recognizes and supports Victoria's best young riders, awarding a few deserving recipients with financial grants to help cover the high costs of racing internationally.
Robert Cameron was also recognized for his contribution as title sponsor of the Robert Cameron Law Cycling Series, which includes the hugely popular Bastion Square Criterium in Bastion Square.