In 2012, the owner of Russ Hay's, The Bicycle Shop, Mike Clermont, organized the first annual Russ Hay's Ambriss Clermont Memorial Ride for Hospice to honour the memory of his wife of 44 years –Ambriss Clermont. Ambriss was the co-owner of Russ Hay's from 1974-2012.
The inaugural event raised more than $3,000 in critical funds for patients and families in need of compassionate end-of-life care at Victoria Hospice. Since then, the Ambriss Clermont Memorial Ride has raised more than $116,500. Thank you so much to past and current participants!
“What Hospice does is a true blessing.”
Ambriss, whose life’s vocation was the care and nurturing of her children and grandchildren, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. After a brave fight, she passed away on February 29, 2012.
Hospice was there throughout to support her and her family. “The understanding and compassion they showed us, right until Ambriss’s passing, was very comforting,” Mike says. “And afterward they continued to support us. What Hospice does is a true blessing.”
Mike and Ambriss Clermont were high school sweethearts who fell in love with Victoria
Mike and Ambriss Clermont were high school sweethearts in Edmonton before they married in 1968. On a visit to Victoria on holiday four years later, they loved the city so much they decided to move there.
“We were not bike racers,” says Mike. But when he and Ambriss saw that Russ Hay’s The Bicycle Shop was for sale, they looked into the business and fell in love with it, too. Mike and Ambriss purchased the store in 1974, keeping its well-respected name (Russ and Marion Hay started the business in 1959 and it had become a Victoria institution).
“The bicycle business was very different then,” says Mike, “We grew and changed as the industry changed.” He and Ambriss also became devoted bikers and continued to grow Russ Hay's, opening another popular shop in Sidney.
This year’s event
- This year’s Russ Hay's Ambriss Clermont Memorial Ride for Hospice takes place on Sunday, September 8th, 2019.
- The family-friendly event has three ride distances, allowing beginners to intermediate riders to participate - 25km, 64km and 100km.
- The rides will start at 8am leaving from Russ Hay's Victoria, 650 Hillside Avenue.
- Food and drink will be provided before and after each ride at Russ Hay's.