Celebrity grilled cheese offer inspires Victoria man's selfless cycling trip
VICTORIA – As Timothy Hoey walks into his basement, he’s stepping back in time.
"I kind of call this my old man museum," he says, entering a small room filled from floor to ceiling with an eclectic collection from his family history.
"That was my great-great-grandfather’s," he says as he points at a wooden sailboat from 1890s Belfast. "He traded another kid for it!"
Timothy also has a couple bowling trophies from one grandfather, and a mug from another, who served as a Second World War bomber-pilot. "Same coffee mug every day for the four years he flew," he says.
The most unusual item in the room is a taxidermy beaver that looks like it’s saying something ‘punny’ thanks to one of those comic-book word bubbles. "It says damn it," he laughs. "A pun is a pun!"
Timothy is also showcasing a vintage bike here, a 1936 CCM Flyte. "It has this swooping, almost Art Deco, oval to it," he says, showing how the bike’s frame curves from front to back.
Timothy recently posted a picture of the bike on social media, which prompted a message from his friend, singer Jann Arden. "She goes, ‘If you ride your bike down my road I’ll make you a grilled-cheese sandwich.'"
Although Timothy says the comment was a joke, he started considering the offer. Despite the fact the he and his bike are in Victoria, and Jann and her grilled-cheese sandwich are in Calgary, "If somebody says ‘Oh! You can’t do that,’ Timothy states, "I’m like, ‘I’m going to.’"
A couple vintage-bike friends agreed to join him, until one of them couldn’t get enough time off work to go that far. Then another friend offered a burger, if they cycled to Whistler. They accepted. "It’s going to be hard for sure," Timothy says it’s all up-hill and the bikes are just 3-speeds. "It’s completely ridiculous."
Timothy is a professional artist who’s best known for his ‘O Canada’ art series. He’s planning to embark on the ‘O-Canada Peddle, Paddle and Push to Whistler’ on May 31.
Tim says the inevitable push up the Sea-to-Sky Highway will be worth it because the journey is fundraiser for the Alzheimer's Society of B.C. He says the first person to pledge was Jann. "She said ‘I’ll donate. Ride for my mom."
As he looks around at the memories he’s preserving in his basement museum, Tim says he’s riding for his grandmother. He’s set up a fundraising page on the BC Alzheimer Society's website.
Tim also hopes to inspire people to be proactive about making a difference. If you see others who can’t do, Tim suggests, why not ask what you can do. "If you see somebody in need, help them," he says. "It’s that simple."
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