It’s Canada’s 150th birthday, 200 years since the bicycle was invented, and the year that Caledon natives Mike Heslin and Eric Forsyth decided it was time to see their country.
After growing up in Caledon, the better part of their adult lives have been spent living and working in Toronto — Heslin as a startup culture consultant and Forsyth as a wedding photographer.
But two years ago, they got an idea to cycle across Canada.
They thought they were just joking for about the first six months, Forsyth said, but the joke eventually turned into a very real plan and they are now about halfway through their 5,000 km journey which kicked off on May 1.
“I’ve never seen my own country before,” said Forsyth as he checked and double-checked his 70 pounds of gear packed in various places on his bike. " I am really just looking forward to doing some exploring on my bike and it’s great because we planned it perfectly in line with the Canada 150 celebrations.”
Heslin, while he says he loves his job and city living — is looking forward to just slowing everything down for a few weeks.
“I enjoy living and working downtown with people my age, but it seems like everyone is always in such a rush,” he said. “It’s just going to be nice to step away from the hustle and bustle for a little while, shut everything off, take in nature and see where my brain goes with that.”
The pair kicked off their trip with a 70-kilometre stretch from Lakeshore to Forsyth’s parents home in Palgrave. Unfortunately, Mother Nature decided to show them what she was really made of and poured rain. All. Day. Long.
“It was definitely a more adventurous Monday than we’re used to,” Heslin said with a laugh. “But I guess it can only get better from here.”
The trip has not waned in excitement since they have been on the road, though.
Just before they made it out of Ontario, Heslin ended up laid up in hospital temporarily due to a pulled IT band and Forsyth trucked on solo for a day or two while his partner in crime took some time to heal and then got a ride to meet him a little further along the route.
Rest time paid off, though and the pair of them are well on their way through the prairies after hitting Saskatchewan over the long weekend.
Their goal is to make it to Tofino, BC by June 20.
Check out some of the photos of their trip so far. More are on the way.
Originally published on CaledonEnterprise.com. Reposted with permission.