Ed Laceby considers cycling across Canada to be “no big deal.”
Come the first weekend of June, the 59-year-old Courtenay resident plans to do just that in an effort to raise awareness about global warming. He will first cycle from the Valley to Victoria, from where he will officially embark on his cross-country odyssey.
Before then, he will try to spark enough interest to encourage other cyclists to join him on the road. The plan is to camp, couch surf or stay in hostels. Another option is Warm Showers — a free worldwide hospitality exchange for touring cyclists.
“I have a person that, if this takes off, will do some fundraising,” Laceby said.
It won’t be his first long-distance voyage. Three years ago, he and his wife biked from Jasper, Alta. to Mexico. The trip took 96 days, 90 of them in a tent.
“It’s called Ride the Divide. It’s the world’s toughest mountain bike trail supposedly,” he said. “It’s equivalent to going from ocean level to the tip of Everest, which is 15,000 feet, seven times.”
The best part of the trip, he recalls, is the people they met along the way.
“One lady has a house that she lets people use. She doesn’t even live there. She leaves the house open (to cyclists).”
But he says the story is not about him, or about biking per se.
“I’ve been interested in the global warming thing for quite a while. We try and do our little bit. Compost heap, things like that. Ride the bike as much as we can, but on a global scale it’s peanuts to what the problem is.”
Laceby, who works in the oil patch, harkens back to 1995 when, on the way to Fort McMurray, he picked up a hitchhiker who was an environmental lawyer.
“He told me, looking into the future, that we’re going to have this calamity, that everything’s going to melt, and the seas will rise and storms will arrive.”
Though skeptical at first, the conversation turned out to be a watershed moment for Laceby.
“He talked about this chunk of ice that fell off the Antarctic the size of Delaware. That was the beginning stages of (me asking) ‘What the hell is going on out there?’
“We have to do more than we’re doing, and the present government (BC Liberals) isn’t doing it. I’ve contacted the other three parties. They seem to be interested.”
He’s still working on particulars of the ride, and is in the midst of creating a website with further information about the ride and its purpose.