Kevin Tulloch says he’s looking forward to participating in 100 Miles for Autism.
The bike ride has been scheduled for Saturday and will depart from Glasgow Square at 7 a.m.
“We have around 30 riders taking part this year,” Tulloch said.
Stops on the route include Sumac Farm and Michelin, with an expected arrival time of 10:30 a.m. at the Hector Heritage Quay. Riders will proceed to Toney River and Scotsburn before returning to the square at about 2 p.m.
Tulloch is one of three dads who have a special relationship with autism. The others are Adam Casey and Colin Wood.
Autism Nova Scotia, Pictou County Chapter (APC), is organizing the event to help raise awareness and funding to support the chapter’s work.
Autism Pictou County has one major fundraiser each year called Walk the Walk for Autism. It funds the chapter’s programs and services with a goal to support more than 130 local families living and dealing with autism.
“All of the money raised stays in Pictou County and is used to fund the programs that the society provides, like swimming lessons, music and art," Tulloch said.
The COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions forced the walk to be cancelled for the second straight year, so it’s now a virtual event. Fundraising challenges resulted and jeopardized many of the chapter’s important programs.
Tulloch, Casey and Wood devised what in cycling is called the imperial century that the 100-mile distance represents.
“Adam, Colin and I quickly jumped on board to help the cause,” Tulloch said. “It was supposed to happen in May but due to the restrictions we did the ride in August, by which time some of the Pictou County Cycle cycling group got wind of it and joined us for the ride; 11 of us went round the 100-mile route.
“This year again the walk was cancelled so we decided to move the ride up a notch and created the Facebook group and the website where people could register for no cost and then help with fundraising.”
Tulloch’s 17-year-old son, James, was diagnosed with a lesser-known disorder called Fragile X syndrome. Tulloch’s many volunteer events included swimming from New Brunswick to P.E.I. in 2014. He has been swimming, running marathons, including ultra-marathons, and cycling for more than 35 years.
Casey’s son, Aydon, is 15 and was diagnosed with autism when he was three. Casey started cycling four years ago and is APC’s vice-president.
Woods’s son, Connor, is 18 and was diagnosed with autism when he was three. Wood is a member of the APC’s executive board and is the chapter’s Walk the Walk co-ordinator. He has fundraised for the chapter for 10 years and has been cycling for seven years.