Hey! My name’s Victor, and I’ll be writing a daily blog to keep everyone updated on my bike trip from Toronto, ON to Cape Spear, NL (near St. John’s).
Hopefully this can be a way for anyone interested to keep up with the ride, and more importantly, to experience biking 2500 KM the smart way (getting someone else to do it, therefore avoiding unnecessary sweating).
Now, I promise to keep the blog short, sweet, and hopefully interesting. This should be a pretty crazy adventure, and since I'm starting tomorrow, I thought that I would take today to address the most common questions that I’ve gotten over the past few weeks.
I wanted to organize Ride for Refugees to sponsor a Syrian refugee family. We’ll be releasing more details about the family in the coming days, but the Beshmaf family is a family of five originally from Aleppo, Syria. They have three young children, with their youngest son turning two tomorrow, June 15th. They’re currently in Jordan, and want to come to Canada to start a safer life for their children.
I didn’t know how to help, but I knew that I could try and get as many people together as I could to sponsor the family. This would take $30,000, money that most individual people don’t have, but that collectively might just be attainable.
We’re working closely with the Islamic Foundation of Toronto, an organization that has sponsored over 200 families from Syria and will help every step of the way.
I really wanted this project to be a way for anyone who has ever wanted to sponsor a refugee family to be able to, no matter their financial situation. At the end of all of this, hopefully we can say that together, we helped the Beshmaf family begin a new life as Canadians.
If you're interested in helping to sponsor the family, click here.
2) How long are you biking for?
The plan right now is to cross the 2500 KM in around 25 days – the route I planned for is 22 days long, plus 3 days in case of emergencies, bad weather, etc. See the full route here. I’ll be biking an average of 100-130 KM per day, with my longest days being around 200 KM.
3) What are you taking with you?
Very, very little.
I was lucky enough to get a few sponsors while launching Canadians for Syria, and want to thank them for their generosity. Thank you to Canadian Tire for giving me a brand new bike, Sport Chek for outfitting me with all of my gear, and GNC for providing nutrition supplements. Your support has allowed for more money to go directly towards sponsoring the Beshmaf family. Also, a big thank you to Uber and Pepsico for their support!
4) Who’s going with you?
It’s just me! I don’t have a car following me, or have anyone biking with me.
5) Wait, what if your tire blows out in the middle of nowhere? What if a bear attacks you?
Tell my parents that I love them, and tell my sister to stop stealing my socks.
6) Who else is working on this project with you?
Medhavi! If you haven’t met her, Medhavi is an amazing person who is my teammate on Canadians for Syria. Although she won’t be biking (she’s saving herself for next year or something?) Medhavi and I work together to manage all of the content that Canadians for Syria puts out. For instance, check out the article she wrote on Human Trafficking in Syria.
7) Where are you going to be staying?
I have a few friends along the road, but I’ll mostly be staying with strangers! I reached out to people in cities across Eastern Canada, and they were very willing to take me in.
I think it’s appropriate that, given the subject of welcoming Syrian refugees, I help to highlight just how giving, open, and generous Canadians can be. I’ll include all of my hosts in this blog, and owe them a lot.
Let me know if there are any questions that I missed! If you’re interested in donating, please learn more here. With any donation, you’ll be updated on the status of the Beshmaf family, both throughout their application process to come to Canada as well as when they arrive.
As promised, more details about the family will be released soon!
As for me, I’m heading out for Day 1 of the ride tomorrow. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far and is now a sponsor of the family – we’ll be personally thanking everyone who has sponsored 25 KM of the ride (donors of $50 or more) every day throughout the trip!
See you guys tomorrow,