Bill Stewart

A Life of Stories and Legends1940-2012

Bill passed away Thursday, October 25, 2012 at home with family and friends. Bill and Virginia Stewart founded the Freewheelers.

Many say Bill changed the landscape of bicycling in Niagara. Indeed, he brought his enthusiasm for cycling here in 1990 from Saskatchewan, where he and his wife are credited for the unparalleled growth of cycling in that province from 1983 to 1989. A recreation club, long-distance tours (Saskatchewan Heritage Tours), out of country tours (Black Hills, Dakota) and winter riding (Brass Monkey Tour) are some of the shared highlights in Riding with the Wind: The History of Cycling in Saskatchewan (Rediger, 2001). His spirit for cycling laid a foundation that lives on. He is also remembered as one of the first recreation cyclist Presidents of the Saskatchewan Cycling Association. His cycling legacy lives on in Niagara when he and his wife, Virginia, moved here to become the founding members of the Niagara Freewheelers Bicycle Club established 1991.

Living for adventure, he was a sustainable recreationist, exploring Niagara from every possible perspective and despite his 12-year dance with prostate cancer he continued to live life his way. He bicycled, he skied, he kayaked, he motorcycled, he climbed, he walked and he hiked. He loved and he laughed. He did it all. He worked hard. As a printer, he was proud of his profession treating each “job” with perfection and precision. He sang to keep spirits up and to forge us ahead. He was a father, a husband and a best friend. His life awards: an audience for his poetry!

In the spirit of fun one of the most prestigious Offices Bill held was the President of the Niagara Liver Lover’s Club. In 1989 Bill became the Honorary President of the Regina Saskatchewan Liver Lover’s Club, an Office that would permit him to officially establish a Branch in Niagara when he moved there the next year. Since then several meetings have been held at different local establishments across Niagara.

His life is full of stories and legends from being chased by Buffalo to riding his bicycle on the cross bar only to hit the Texas cattle gate.

Virginia Stewart bvstewart@sympatico.ca