Growing up in the small town of Ridgetown, I like many others, had to bike everywhere. My parents (David & Andrea) blessed me with the opportunity to play a lot of golf during my summers and each day I would bike about 10km to the golf club. I really grew to enjoy cycling but got lazy once my first car came along during my university days.
People say there are life defining moments that come along. I truly believe we have full control on our choices when these moments present themselves, and I attempt to make them without regret. My greatest friend is my ex-wife, we spent over 10 years together and mutually decided to separate in the fall of 2011. Facebook speaks of timelines, this was a defining moment on ours. Typically I spent more time than I wish to admit looking for an escape from the realization I was alone until I finally remembered how much I enjoyed embracing the singularity of cycling. During the summer of 2012 I restarted my passion for cycling, a) to get in shape and b) to embrace my loneliness. Cycling became a wonderful release for me and provided me the time and space to focus. Unfortunately what came next on my timeline was job loss, almost a year after Leigha and I decided to split. It is said that divorce, job loss and moving are some of the most stressful moments in life…the trifecta was my reality.
The loss of a job for me was painful as for the longest time I let my career defined me. Coming from a small town and from modest means, I always felt I had something to prove to others, Leigha, my colleagues, my friends, my family. Losing my current employment was a blow I saw coming, but it still left me searching for answers. What I now realize is that I have really never had anything to prove to these people and they all came to my side recently. It was only then that I realized it is me I have to support. This is my reason for cycling across Canada, to explore who I am, what my mental limits are, and what my physical limits are. The trifecta may be a reality but is my choice how I react to it. I never took time off to travel after university or experienced the world through work or vacation. This is my opportunity to be alone on the road, camping and sharing a journey with the many friends I have across our great country.
My Aunt Dora recently had a life defining moment of her own. She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in the summer of 2012. We all know friends and family who fight this ugliness. Some don’t win the fight, but I have seen the will power and focus it takes for not only those inflicted but also their families. It doesn’t need to be said that no one should have to face this challenge and it is a far greater challenge than a cross Canada cycling journey, but at least I may be able to raise some money to assist with the challenge to find a cure. To Dora, who chooses to take on her challenge with strength and determination and to Bob who is at her side the entire way; I hope you both know you have many supporters.
My challenge will start May 20 at the Vancouver Rowing Club, near Stanley Park in Vancouver and end on August 29 in St Johns. Check the Calendar on this website for daily info on my route and place where you may want to join me on my journey. I look forward to riding with many of my friends along the way.