Thursday, April 24, 2008

Why Am I Doing This?

Upon returning from China from my Canada World Youth Trip, I was a bit disappointed to find many youth in a deep depression. Alcohol abuse, dangerous drug use and even a rash of suicides plagued my hometown.

I hope to create and fund youth organizations around Hazelton and give back to a community that has given so much to me. I've seen youth activities, as simple as a weekly game, movie nights, community gardens or kitchens, keep teenagers focused and put them in an environment where they learned about healthy and active lifestyles. Sadly, our economy is fading fast, leading to a more dramatic need for programs like this.

With this trip across Canada, I hope to inspire youth to take on their potential leadership roles and create a program that will provide the youth of Hazelton with a structured organization that focuses on a healthy lifestyle, a deterent from drugs and alcohol. I want to see others take up this challenge and give back to a community that needs positive role models and youth encouraging youth.

Leadership, in its simplest form, is overcoming fear, and inspiring others to do so as well, and that’s what I hope to accomplish.


2008 Kona Mountain bike

Axiom Journey Series Panniers; 2 x 40 litres, 2 x 60 litres

Tioga City Slicks tires

Raleigh mini hand bike pump

x 2 standard metal bottle cages

Mountain bike rear rack

Front shocks-style fork pannier racks

Rear pannier racks

Rat trap 50/50 pedals with clips

Side mirror

MEC tarn 2 two person tent

Self inflating foamy

Down sleeping bag

Compression bag

Plastic foldable plates/bowls/spoon (yes, spoon!)

GSI Ultralight soloist cook system pot and bowl

MRC Cooking stove and fuel

Time bike shoes with cleats

x 2 MEC bike shorts

MEC bike pants

Axiom tour style bike jacket

x 2 pair De-Feat sport socks, x 1 pair wool

x 2 bike jerseys

Bike helmet

x 2 pair bike gloves

Camelback water pack (2 litres)

Katimavik cotton t-shirt

CWY cotton t-shirt

Pair of casual shoes

First aid kit

Sun lotion

10 litre wet/dry bag

Needle nose pliers

Spoke tool

Goals/Reason Why

I think it would help to let others understand why I'm doing this. You can't be called crazy without acknowledging that there is indeed method to your madness.

Lets point out the obvious reasons

- It's good excercise! I enjoy biking
- Since I begun travelling, people always comment "Ah, good, do it while your young" Yeah, well, I'm still young. Better get 'er done while I'm still able to!
- I'm sick and tired of paying for vehicles, rising gas prices, and the constant repairs, especially considering my track record of broken down vehicles
- It's an amazing adventure! If you read other people's blogs on cycle touring (the correct term) you'll find yourself wondering why more people don't do it!

And now, the more personal reasons

- I'm tired of being left out. I've done Katimavik and CWY, and made amazing friends after 9, 6 months, only to have to say good bye and not expect to see them for a long time, if possibly never. People do not come through Hazelton, they have to go TO Hazelton. And NO ONE comes to Hazelton, that is, if they can find it. So it's my turn. I'm going to go visit my friends!
- Every time I travel, I come back with a deep appreciation for simple things: my community, my country, my friends, a comfortable bed even! You realize how much you miss things when you don't have them.
- I want to leave the technological world behind, or at least limit myself from it. I'm well aware I'll have a cell phone, be using the internet every chance I get. It's another thing I'd rather balance in life; too much access, too much temptation, a unhealthy lifestyle to constantly be attached to
- I want to help people. Ghandi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world" By doing this, I've already inspired people. It isn't even so much about the money I'm raising, it's why I'm doing it. I want to prove to people, that there are challenges in life, but it's about overcoming them. I'm not the smartest person, I'm not even the most fit. But I'm one determined little bugger to learn everything I need to know about bikes and to get into better shape, and to go across Canada. If I can accomplish this goal, then others can accomplish theirs!
- I want to become a better person. I've done group programs where I've depended on others, to help challenge or support me. This time, it's all me. If I can be disciplined enough to bike every day, cook my own food, do my own repairs, and remain motivated through rain or sunshine, then I know I'll become the person I want to be who can do anything. That kind of motivation will follow me for the rest of my life!