MacDonald and MacLean cycling across Canada
NEW GLASGOW – Four months ago, Bob MacDonald started thinking about getting back on his bicycle.
His recovery from knee surgery was going well so the thought he would begin peddling again, but little did he know he would be cycling across Canada this summer as part of the Craig Gives Back tour.
“It’s very inspiring,”MacDonald told ngnews Thursday as he peddled his way to Ottawa. “Just being here and representing Craig is an honour.”
MacDonald joined the Craig Gives Back tour in mid-August after Craig Aucion suffered an injury to his ankle and knee while cycling in Newfoundland with Lloyd McLean. Aucion was expected to be back on the bike when it left Pictou County in mid-August, but he broke his wrist during another fall.
MacDonald, who is partially sighted and like Aucoin, he also has retinitis pigmentosa, said he now expects to be part of the tour until they reach Calgary.
He said when McLean asked him last year to be a backup for the tour, he never thought his services would be needed.
“I thought it would be neat to take part in their cycle through Pictou County, but cycling across the country was a long shot. I cycled from tip to tip across Prince Edward Island before, but that is small potatoes now.”
MacDonald joined McLean in Cape Breton and has done about 2,000 kms so far. He admits his legs were sore the first two days of tour, but he is feeling better these days.
“Some days are worse than others,” he said. “One day we did 160 km and 162 kms, two days in a row. That was rough. Those were long days. “
On Thursday, the men were expected to cycle about 182 km to McLean’s sister’s home in Ottawa. They will be spending a few days in the capital city, promoting the tour and visiting with family. Aucion is cycling virtually at the local YMCA with the men as he recovers from his injuries.
MacDonald said it was pleasure cycling through Quebec with its many bike lanes and flat, wide-shoulder roads. He is expecting similar road conditions in Ottawa, but says every day is an adventure on the back of the bike.
“I have seen where we’ve been, but not where we are going,” joked MacDonald, adding that the reception in many towns along the way has been good.
In Montreal, the men were joined by group of tandem cyclists, each with a sighted and blind or partially sighted co-pilot.
The Craig Gives Back tour is raising money for Canadian charities that Aucion credits with helping him turn his life around. The Craig Gives Back Tour will raise funds and awareness for CNIB, Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind and YMCAs in Canada. Donations can be made online at www.craiggivesback.ca.
The Craig Gives Back tour is expected to reach Victoria, British Columbia on Oct. 27.