After pedaling more than 200 kilometres from Vancouver to Seattle, most of the participants in the Ride to Conquer Cancer will stop for a well-earned rest. For three cyclists from Elmira, the journey will have just begun: they’ll be pedaling another 7,000 kilometres across Canada, finishing only when they can dip a front tire in the Atlantic Ocean.
Charles Bauman, Derek Wiens and Brandon Wiens are hoping to complete their cross-Canada journey in six or seven weeks, which will mean covering around 150 kilometres a day.
They were inspired by the Wiens’ older brother, Travis, who did a similar journey about three years ago. Bauman had the idea of doing it for a cause, and starting the trip with the Ride to Conquer Cancer.
Signing up for the ride had added some extra layers of planning to the trip, the biggest of which is raising the money for the $2,500 entry fee for each rider. On top of that, they have general expenses associated with the trip: camping gear and equipment, campground fees and food, which will be a significant amount given all the calories they’ll be burning.
Charles has been biking since he was seven, and cycles to work in Kitchener every day. He explains that he doesn’t like taking a car, and biking is also cheaper. This is Derek’s second year road biking, although he did mountain biking for a year or two before that.
This will be by far the longest trip any of them has attempted. Their families are a bit apprehensive, but supportive.
“Grandpa gave us a map for every province along the way,” Derek said.
Travis and the friends who rode across Canada with him think it’s a great idea, although they also said they wouldn’t do it again.
Bauman is excited about taking part in his first charity ride, which will mean pedaling alongside thousands of other riders. Derek admits he’s most looking forward to seeing the prairies ahead of them and leaving the mountains behind.
The trio plans to make some stops along the way to visit friends and family. They’ll be doing some camping on the side of the road, although they’ll have to stop at campgrounds to shower and recharge their cell phone. Regular hot showers are one of the things Brandon expects to miss most, along with sleeping in a soft bed and driving in a car.
The three cyclists start their journey June 19 with the first leg of the two-day Ride to Conquer Cancer. Between now and then, they’ll be busy planning their route and fundraising. They’re currently hatching plans for fundraising events, and hoping to kick their fundraising up a notch come May.
“Look for the yellow jerseys around town,” Derek said.
To support their efforts, visit the Ride to Conquer Cancer website https://va10.conquercancer.com. If you click the “donate” button, you can search for their team name, which is “Cross Can.”
For more information, contact Charles at email@example.com.