RAAM 2017 was my last ‘MULTI-WEEK SINGLE STAGE’ elite world-class bike event. Just to clarify, I will continue to use my cycling platform to raise funds for destitute children rescued by Mully Children’s Family, but NOT by participating in events that require around the clock cycling for multiple weeks at a time.
I am 60 years old and the only thing that gets easier with age is napping.
This became very clear to me in RAAM 2017, as ALL 6 entries in the 60+ age category eventually ended up with a DNF behind their name.
Since 2005, I have used 1 elite/extreme world class multi-week around the clock cycling event per year (with the exception of 2006) as my fundraising platform.
Beginning with Spoke 2005, the Canadian Safari, I transported (in rotation) 3 teenagers from Mully Children’s Family on the back of a modified tandem bike 7000 km across Canada in 30 days. This was the beginning of my cycling ministry and spreading awareness about MCF right across Canada.
My list of elite/extreme cycling events:
2007 – 15,000km (45 days) Food Drive for Orphans, symbolizing the distance from Canada to Kenya.
2008 – RAAM in 11 Days, 3 hours, 19 min.
2009 – Tour for Life – 453km/day (3x the distance of the daily average of Tour de France) for the 23 days of Tour de France.
2010 – Hot Pursuit 2010, Vancouver-Winnipeg, 2370km in 4 days 4 hours.(being chased by a relay team of CMU riders and a relay team of Winnipeg Police Officers). The most fun I have had on a bike.
2011 – Vancouver-Halifax (6040 km) GWR in 13 days, 6 hours and 13 min
2012 – Vancouver-Halifax GWR attempt, falling just short of breaking my record
2013 – RAAM in 11 Days, 20 hours, 8 min
2014 – 10,000 GWR attempt. DNF’d after 5000 km due to unseasonably bad weather conditions in Winnipeg.
2015 – Deadhorse, Alaska – Key West, Florida, 9000 km. DNF after 5 days (2000km) due to a crash that resulted in 5 broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung.
2016 – Vancouver-Halifax GWR attempt (since I suffered a severe crash after only 110 km, yet managed to persevere to Halifax, this has become my most courageous event/performance to date). I completed the ride but did not set a new GWR.
2017 – RAAM – DNF (only 16 out of 39 solo racers became official finishers this year)
Much more important than the cycling results themselves are the life lessons I have learned along the way, the funds that have been raised, the awareness that has been created for Mully Children’s Family, and the opportunities I have had to share my faith in God on public stages. Since 2005, God has blessed this platform and allowed us to raise over $4.5 Million for the World’s Biggest Family. Thank you to our families, friends and MCF supporters. It is you that deserve the credit and God receives the praise.
It is our (Ruth and my) hope and prayer that our story, a journey of faith, obedience, success, failure, risk, surrender and daring to step out of our comfort zone to do what we can to make a difference, has and continues to inspire at least a few to do what they can to make a difference.
I often conclude one of my talks/presentations this way:
I have learned that making a difference does not come easy and there is a personal cost to it.
I have learned that the personal sacrifices I am making are insignificant compared to the personal rewards I am experiencing.
Our work on behalf of the children rescued by Mully Children’s Family will continue with the same (maybe even greater) passion and determination. We believe that is what God has called us to.
The cycling platform going forward will change somewhat, and it will now include SOME sleep at night.
The things we do for ourselves will be forgotten
when we are gone.
The things we do for others will live on. Grandpa Arvid