Mark Daalerop and Candace Stryker have something to say—and they’re cycling across Canada to make people to listen.
They are part of the “Cycling for Sustainability” ride that started May 4 in Victoria, B.C. and will be wrapping up in St. John’s, Nfld. on Sept. 10.
Last Wednesday, the pair was happy to reach Fort Frances.
“The Prairies were very difficult,” Daalerop said. “We seemed to be bringing the rain with us wherever we went.”
Bad conditions were something the group has had to put up with to get their message across.
“We want to raise awareness of sustainable transportation, raise money for the Canadian Organic Growers Association, and encourage Canadians to sign on to www.thebet.ca,” said Stryker, a graduate of Carleton University in Ottawa.
“The Bet” Web site challenges individual Canadians to outdo the federal government by conserving 50 percent of household greenhouse gas emissions by reducing driving and other daily activities.
So far, the pair—along with 16 other riders from around the world—have covered an average of 100 km a day fueled only by organically-grown food and sleeping in donated facilities.
“We’re camping, or crashing in community centres, garages, backyards, or churches,” Stryker remarked. “Because we are raising money for the cause, we want to keep it cheap.”
The cyclists have encountered some resistance to their ideas but they are happy to get a dialogue started. “The biggest misconception people have about organic farming is that it will not produce enough food to feed everybody,” noted Daalerop.
“But we just won’t survive doing what we are doing,” he warned.
The group was buzzed about finally being in Ontario.
“The lakes, the trees, the animals, it’s just great,” Daalerop said as he biked off towards Scott Street.