The idea all started with a conversation between two longtime friends. (No drinks involved! LOL ) Rob, a veteran, lifelong cyclist was meeting with Mike at a conference. Rob shared his dream of cycling across Canada and asked Mike if he would consider doing it with him the summer they both turned 60.
Mike had just started doing some short distance cycling and had never considered any form of long distance riding, let alone a ride across Canada. The idea did intrigue him; he agreed to think about it on one condition. Mike explained to Rob, “If I’m going to do this it has to be for a cause. I can’t do it just for fun because I’m not sure it will be fun.” Rod immediately agreed! Three months later, Mike committed to do the ride.
The search for a cause landed with water wells because it’s such a basic need, saves lives and transforms families and communities. Global Aid Network (GAiN) became the cause partners and the ride started to take shape. Mike and Rob recruited two more cyclists and a support vehicle driver to join them. The team, Mike, Rob, Timo, Richard and Jacquie, also found some amazing sponsors who provided a support vehicle and the funds to cover their expenses so that 100% of the funds raised would go to GAiN. The ride would be 60 days, they were turning 60 so the goal became 60 wells.
During a training ride, Mike was on a 35 km route to his office, it was early morning, there was a head wind, he was going uphill and it started to rain. Two thoughts hit him; “This is hard, cycling across the country will be hard.” The second thought came rushing in… “This will be hard but it would be a lot harder to watch your children die because they do not have clean water!” That thought was re-visited many times…
July 1, 2014 the team left Victoria, BC and on August 23 they arrive in St. John’s, NF having cycled over 7,600 km and raised just over $275,000 to provide 33 villages with safe clean drinking water. Their minds were filled with a treasure chest of heartwarming stories of kindness and generosity.
Someone said, “Maybe you should do this again when you turn 65.” The seed was planted…
The plan is in motion for a Sea 2 Sea 2 Sea (Arctic, Pacific, and Atlantic) ride starting in late June ending in late August. The route, approximately 10,000 km, will start in Tuktoyaktuk at the Arctic Ocean, touch the Pacific Ocean at Prince Rupert then finish the epic journey at the Atlantic in the Halifax area. 65 is the number for this ride, 65 days, a goal of 65 wells and old guys peddling whose average age is close to 65.
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