Following last years pilot ride, Tegh Singh (SGT Jesse Jones) and Pete Spearing are cycling again to commemorate our veterans and to raise funds for the Veterans Transition Network. The 35km route will contain Calgary’s military monuments and buildings on the 11th November, making a video blog at each point.
The ride is raising funds through donations of support, with all the proceeds going to the Veterans Transition Network. You can donate through the GoFundme page here (where you can also get a tax receipt).
Tegh Singh (SGT. Jesse Jones) is originally from Southern California. He enlisted in the US Army at age 18 and served for over 6 years as a Fire Support Specialist. Serving in the 3rd Battalion 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, he fought alongside infantry units, calling in long range weapons systems such as artillery and attack aircrafts. His unit saw very heavy combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan, earning them several Presidential Unit Citations and the Valorous Unit Award for heroism against an armed enemy – the two highest awards which can be issued to a unit by the Army.
After separating from the Army, Sgt. Jones and his wife moved to Toronto to start a civilian life. He became a father to an incredible little girl (now 6 years old) and took the name Tegh Singh after becoming an initiated Sikh.
Having faced many challenges from his time in service, including struggling with PTSD, Tegh’s healing has leaned heavily on spirituality, staying physically active, and speaking openly about his experiences in the military. Now living in Calgary, Tegh uses running, martial arts, and cycling as part of his process, along with the help of organizations like the Veterans Transition Network (VTN), which provide group counselling programs to help veterans transition to civilian life.
“Without VTN, many service members – like myself – who returned with Operational Stress Injuries would not have the practical tools to overcome the challenges borne from this unique trauma. These organizations need financial support to continue to serve their incredibly important purpose. Cycling helps me unwind; it helps me breathe. So, I’m riding for my brothers and sisters who didn’t come home with me, and those who did but are forever changed by war. I’m riding for my wife, my daughter, and the families of every soldier out there. They’re the real heroes.”
Pete Spearing is an avid all year round cyclist using commuting to work from the NW to the SE as a routine. Interesting in all thing cycling, from repairs, to building bikes, bike art and supporting YYC cyclists. Recognizing that cycling is not just a physical activity, but it helps maintain your mental health, he is active in supporting groups that help use cycling as a way of helping people. Pete spent 2 years volunteering with Bike Calgary as a member of the Board, as well as the role of President, helping support the CMHA rides, having been involved in organized charity/fun rides in Montreal.
Due to the continuance of Covid-19 in Alberta, again this ride is being limited to Pete and Tegh to maintain social responsibility. Look out for them and support their journey. They both hope next year that they can extend this to a group and add not only the YYC’s cycling community, but more cycling veterans!
Bike Calgary “has your 6” team!