Nation Valley News
WINCHESTER — Once the pandemic sputters to a halt, Vince Zandbelt is ready to roll on a 14-day South African motorcycle adventure trip. The Winchester resident has won the grand fundraising prize awarded by Ride for Dad Canada, as officially announced by the organization this week.
Zandbelt was Canada’s second-highest fundraiser in 2020. His unique local effort involving a restored vintage motorcycle generated over $17,000 for prostate cancer through the Ottawa Motorcycle Ride For Dad Chapter. That earned him 170 ballots in the grand prize draw (one ballot for every $100 raised), and his name came out the lucky one.
“It was totally unexpected and a nice little cherry on top” of last year’s accomplishment, said the happy recipient of the $10,000 trip, which was donated to Ride for Canada by Renedian Adventures Global Motorcycle Expeditions.
Zandbelt, who learned of his win late last year, said the trip covers the cost of one but that both he and wife Charlene will make the journey in 2022. The “Two Oceans” adventure will see the couple ride separate motorcycles on a two-week excursion around Capetown, with regular afternoon stops to see the sights. “Every day you’re riding until 11 or noon. You get to see the landscape and the culture of what’s going on,” he said, highlighting attractions like the world’s tallest bungee jump and a chance to dive with the sharks.
“There’s stuff that’s set up everyday that you do. We’re really looking forward to it and very excited,” exclaimed Zandbelt, who was presented with the winning certificate recently by Ottawa Motorcycle Ride for Dad Chair Samantha Hastie.
Below, see the video promoting the Winchester Bike Night team’s Ride for Dad campaign last year.
“It’s an adventure I never planned for,” he said, also acknowledging many congratulatory messages received since word of his good fortune got out. “Everyone wants the back seat!”
“Volunteer fundraisers have been the lifeblood of the Ride For Dad fight against prostate cancer for over 20 years. We are humbled by the incredible efforts undertaken by Vince and hundreds of volunteers across Canada during these very challenging times. Prostate cancer didn’t stop for COVID and neither did the Ride for Dad fight,” said Rob Taylor, Executive Director of Ride For Dad Canada.
Instead of the usual processions of motorcyclists around the country — including the Ottawa version that rumbles through and concludes inside North Dundas — the 2020 Ride saw participants hit the road individually.
In Zandbelt’s case, he visited more than 70 local commercial and farm donors while toting his father’s DKW motorcycle in a trailer, often posing the proprietors with the vintage 1956 bike. He also hauled the machine to a further 30 Ride for Dad major sponsors in Ottawa — the city that originated the Ride for Dad movement.
The antique motorcycle was made famous when Zandbelt secretly acquired it in Holland and gifted it back to his father as a surprise 90th birthday present in Winchester. After 60 years apart, the tearful reunification of Bill Zandbelt and his original bike — now beautifully restored — went viral on social media. Videos of the poignant occasion produced by Reid Zandbelt — nephew of the prize winner — garnered millions of views.
“A great big thank you goes out to our great community residents and businesses that helped our Winchester Downtown Revitalization Committee,” Vince Zandbelt also said in a recent Facebook post. His fundraising endeavour last year was also done in the name of “Winchester Bike Night” — a popular series of motorcyclist gatherings in downtown Winchester that Zandbelt first spearheaded 2019. Due to the pandemic, the series had to be idled in 2020.