Island cyclists ready for cross-Canada rideAL MACLEOD
A cycling trip two years in the making will become a reality for two Island cyclists as they prepare to travel across Canada on their trusty bikes.
Dan Steele, 42, and friend Bruce MacPherson are flying to Vancouver on Tuesday and will begin the cross-Canada ride on Wednesday, hoping to complete the trek by arriving back on P.E.I. in six weeks.
The pair started a trial run of the idea last year in Newfoundland but cut the trip short after learning of an illness in MacPherson’s family.
The duo plans to complete the province as part of the trip this time around.
Steele, sporting a Cross Canada cycling jersey from Cycle Canada, said he is ready for the challenge and feels good with the trip only a few days away.
“I’m a little nervous but there’s a lot of excitement,” Steele said.
It was Steele who came up with the idea about two years ago. It’s a challenge a lot of cyclists want to experience, Steele said.
“Like many cyclists, I think it’s something everyone wants to do and we want to do it.”
Along with the challenge of cycling such a long distance, Steele will also be dealing with Parkinsonism, which affects his left hand and leg.
He was diagnosed about six months ago but the news only fueled his desire to complete the cross-Canada trek and to do it while he was in good health, Steele said.
“(The diagnosis) put a bit more urgency on the trip.”
As far as the bicycle ride itself, the first few days will likely offer him the biggest challenge, Steele said.
“For me, my strength is not hills so going through B.C. is going to be my particular challenge.”
MacPherson said he was interested right away when he learned his friend wanted to do a trip across Canada.
“Dan said, ‘Hey, I’m gonna cycle across Canada,’ and asked if I wanted to go so I’m tagging along.”
He and Steele hope to average about 150 km per day to start and work from there, MacPherson said.
“After we get going, hopefully the average will bump up to about 200 km per day so that we meet our timeline.”
The cyclists will be keeping a live blog at www.brookvaleskipatrol.ca/wordpress during their travels.
The two also have GPS on their cellphones and can be tracked live and plan to stay at hotels, camp and lodge at friends’ homes along the way.
Best Luck & Safe Travels Guys!