John Vandevelde is ready to ride from Vancouver to Calgary to help end the cycle of poverty. Margaret Speirs photo

He’s cycling to end the cycle of poverty

JOHN Vandevelde, 63, longtime local resident and member of the Christian Reformed Church, will cycle from Vancouver to Calgary June 26 to July 10, part of a team embarking on a longer trip that will begin at the Pacific Ocean and end at the Atlantic Ocean.

“I just hope to have a great time,” he says about what he expects along the ride between the two cities.

The Sea to Sea cross-continental bike ride from Vancouver to Halifax, about 6,000 kilometres, is sponsored by the organizations World Renew and Partners Worldwide with the goal helping end the cycle of poverty through actual cycling.

This year, 135 riders, ages 17-81, will complete all or part of the Sea to Sea cycling challenge.

Vandevelde thinks his greatest challenge might be climbing grades of the Trans-Canada Highway through the Rocky Mountains.

He looks forward to the opportunity to ride and meet new people.

Support vehicles and a mobile kitchen will be travelling with the group and the riders will be sleeping in tents.

Vandevelde, who has been training and raising money since the end of March, is the only rider from Terrace and believes four cyclists from Smithers are going too.

So far, he’s raised $15,000, more than double his initial goal of $6,000.

He says he is very thankful for the incredible support he has received from local businesses and his church community.

Terrace resident Annette Rolleman, who completed the Sea to Sea cycling trip 10 years ago, says “it’s next to impossible to find a day that I don’t think about or live the impacts of that adventure. Sea to Sea’s work to elevate global poverty was an astounding blessing to be part of.”