Those who’ve done a charity ride may be able to relate to this, but instead of hundreds of kilometres over a weekend, try 19,000km over six years. That’s what Canadian fire department captain and cancer survivor Rudy Pospisil is doing — cycling the globe for cancer research — and he’s inviting North Queenslanders to share part of the journey with him when he cruises through town in next month.
Here Rudy shares his story so far:
I am a fire department captain from Canada cycling around the globe for cancer research. I have been doing this since 2009 after promising myself I would if I survived the cancer I was diagnosed with in 2000, and I’m over half way now. I will cycle from Cairns to Melbourne from September to November this year (4,000km) for the Australian Cancer Council. My aim is to try to inspire others as much as fundraise, and I’d love local cyclists to join my journey — write to me, share your story, or cycle with me, because together we can beat cancer.
My goal is 30 countries and, so far, I’ve ridden from my home in Vancouver along the Pacific Coast to Mexico, then across the southern USA all the way to Florida. I dumped water from the Pacific Ocean into the Atlantic. I then flew to the closest landfall of Europe in Porto Portugal and crossed Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary — all the way to Greece. I then cycled Thailand from Chiang Mai at the top to the bottom near Krabi, followed by Malaysia and Singapore.
I stop in special places for a rest day and sometimes have a fundraiser. I cycle into cities with locals, firefighters, police — anyone who wants to join me. Some cities like San Francisco, Phoenix, Budapest and Zurich were very happy to cycle with me and host a fundraiser event for their charity. Some cities even turned it into an annual event, which really humbles me.
But, in all of these places, it’s the people who I meet along the way that create the most memorable experiences. I find out how they live and work, feel about their home, their country, their governments and their health care. Being on a bike you are less threatening and people are more accepting and helpful. For instance, I collapsed with heat exhaustion in the Sonoran Desert [in North America]. A rancher found me and took me to his home. I recovered there for two days.
So this brings me to Townsville. I posted my upcoming cycle on some pages through social media and heard back from many people in Townsville — more so in all of other Australia. I thought, “I must get to there and meet these great people”. So in September I hope to stop over. I will most likely even take a very limited rest day after my arrival.
I am looking forward to Australia as people speak English, seem very friendly and inviting, and it has vast open areas with wildlife and, of course, a beautiful ocean. I am also fortunate to have found a volunteer Brisbane film school graduate to drive a support vehicle and film a documentary while I’m there.
I would love for you to join me — please contact me on the details below.
Rudy will cycle 113km into Townsville from Ingham on Wednesday, September 23.
We will keep you posted about ways you can get involved to meet or support him once details are finalised.