Microcredit Sustainability Tour

“Howdy, Pilgrim”

Microcredit Sustainability Tour 1 Comment

who made this quote famous? See below for the answer*

It is estimated that between 100-200 people are crossing Canada at any one time, going significant distances by foot or by bicycle. Given there are much easier modes available, what drives these people?
Do they have a common mission? Are we on some form of pilgrimage?
I met about 20 of them personally, some who were willing & able to share their story, while others passed leaving nothing but a wave. All these journeys must have been significant, otherwise what would motivate someone to take on such a crazy challenge? It was clear I was not alone.

I met two walkers traveling with strollers both who left in July but from opposite sides of the country: Susanne from Halifax & Pierre from Tofino on Vancouver Island. Both, unrelated, were threatening to write books, Pierre’s to be named The Dreamwalker. He had big plans to continue deep south after completing east-west, and was on a tight schedule to get to the next town. After all, walkers don’t have the luxury of wheels. By the time I met Pierre he was already in Ontario. Susanne was still in New Brunswick. Their paths are destined to cross somewhere in Quebec shortly. She originally was carrying one of her children in the stroller before her father convinced her it would be best to leave her at home. Her campaign was to Stop Violence Against Children. I met a young ultra-marathon runner Montreal River, near Sault St Marie, traveling west running 70km a day. He had a support team & in good spirits, and must be well into the praries by now. Same day I came across a cyclist-with-trailer from Ottawa, relocating to Vancouver after a divorce. He was carrying all he possessed which was not much.
On the road to Thunder Bay I had my first encounter, with two student guys heading from Edmonton to Toronto on bikes, seemingly on a holiday jaunt. Same cafe, I met Rick, a Greenie biking from Calgary to Ottawa, where he was planning to make his political stand on the steps of Parliament. I challenged all three to free dinner if they made into town that night but noone called. Rick followed up the following day as I was recovering from Achilles & mechanical issues. The guys are no doubt home, while politicians are now the wiser in Ottawa.

On the way into Blind River for the night I met Quinn from Laval University. He was heading further for the night but we destined to meet the next day, on the way to Sudbury. He was on a mission, to advance the benefits of Organ Donation. See earlier post. His journey was the most structured where he had media opps in most major centers, including Toronto, where people, more than anywhere else in Csnada, feel more attached to their body parts (lowest donation per capita). We parted ways on the highways above Sudbury, he admiring my freedom to push on without obligation, and me, admiring his commitment to convert as many heathen Torontonians as possible.
He may be sleeping in his own bed in Montreal tonight. He deserves it.

It then struck me that I was one of the few who chose or could afford to stay in motels at night, even cheap ones. Without the need for camping & cooking gear, my load was half of the others, which allowed me to travel at twice the pace of others. A sore butt & muscles was acceptable, but no soothing bath or cooked meal? Are you crazy! Then I realized I had the money but not the time, while it was the opposite for most of the others. Or perhaps the other racers were too fast to be seen.
Although my mission was to promote the benefits of successful micro-credit to less fortunate communities ( www.unitingtheworld.org ), my personal goal drove me more. CSLI & Rose Charities will shortly be supporting 2500 families in Sri Lanka in their home-based businesses, which means education & a future for their children.

So how does biking across a country benefit anyone, apart from ones health? Especially in a time when there are more charity runs & dinner events than ever. I guess if it creates awareness. And more importantly, if we are privileged enough to be able to have the time in our lives to do such folly , then I guess it shows us we are pretty blessed people.
Let’s appreciate the freedoms we have. In the World’s Eye, we are the 1%.

* one of the worst misquotes, and impersonations, in movie history. John Wayne, nor anyone famous, used this greeting.

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