Well, we are Done! Everyone arrived in Kelowna on schedule and to a warm welcome from family, friends old and new and even a TV crew.  Now with weary bones and hungry stomachs we are off to a celebratory dinner at the Eldorado.  Here is a group shot of us at the end meeting spot this afternoon - but be sure to check back tomorrow for lots more great pictures, and a link to our TV news interview and other updates!

Thanks to all of our supporters!  I think I can speak for the group to say this whole experience was made worthwhile by you!!

If you would like to buy tickets to the Canadian Tenors "Voices for Bulembu" concert in Kelowna or in Vancouver, you can click on the links on the main page to purchase, and/or go to the Bulembu website to make a donation.  Thank you again!

Last Day!

Well, they're off!  We go up through Summerland and finish today at the Sails in Kelowna.

If you are up there, we would love for you to join us in cheering them on as they arrive shortly after 1pm today!

Bike Seat

Ok...4 days on this?  This is Wayman's bike seat, all I can say is...ouch!

Wayman's words....

Three days and 440 kms later we have all arrived safely in Oliver. The group pegged me with the name "Big Ring" today after completing another day using only the upper gears as the front derailer on my bike cracked yesterday morning shortly after leaving Sunshine Valley, past Hope. The hills have been hard enough, but doing them without the lower gears posed an added challenge that I hadn't expected or planned for. A flat tire 20 kms before the end of today had me counting the final kms to our motel in Oliver before flopping exhausted into the pool. An exhausting yet exhilarating experience. that will be remembered not for the hard times but for the great people that made up this team. We couldn't have done this without Tanya's support vehicle and cheerful assistance to our every need along the way; the cheering section provided by Rebecca and her and Andy's kids; the contributions made to the team by each of the riders and the fabulous scenery along the way. I thought I was going on this ride to raise money for a worthwhile cause but am coming away with so much more. Thanks to all who have contributed including each of those who sponsored me on the ride. One more day and 120 kms. Four kind of long days but a life time of memories.

Andy's words...

We're now in Oliver and day 3 proved to be another challenging day especially the climb just before Osoyoos but nothing like yesterday. The ride up to Manning yesterday was pretty brutal and I can honestly say I've never done anything so physically challenging in my life. My legs are pretty sore, my knee's bothering me a bit but feeling pretty good about the accomplishment so far and I'm having a great time. Most of today was a beautiful ride and mostly flat through Hedley and Keremios where we witnessed some forest fires high up on the mountains and saw a helicopter come down and suck up water from the river right in front of us (Mike took some pics hopefully we can get them posted) We also saw some of the Penticton ironman riders heading past us in the opposite direction just after Keremios which cool to see. Maybe that's next on my list? ...yeah right
From Tanya...

Thanks Carl! Ok rules don't have to be made to be broken...But.... :)
This has been a great experience! Although the guys have been looking a bit beat up, exhausted and ready for a sleep at 7 am (when we are hitting the road), I've watched them get on their bikes as I jump in my car (and feel tired for sitting in the car all day...haha) and I am so happy we all did this.

Rules Are made to be broken, and these guys demonstrate that with their tenacity in doing this difficult ride. They could have been sitting down all week on a computer, but they broke out, to do something noticeable, and challenging.

Now that's breaking the rules, and thumbs up boys, your work raised Bulembu close to (to date) $20 Thousand dollars, and brought attention to this very worthwhile cause. Good on you!


what's in a name

We have coined a few nicknames / honorary names over the last few days (and a few I'm going to make up right now).  Here goes:
Andy:  "Hero"  Andy is the only one with a cheering section!  His fans have lined the roads on a few occasions.  And a thank you goes out to his family for being there too.  ;o)

Paul:  "Run Forrest"  Paul gets better every day.  I think if we crossed the continent he would eventually leave us all behind.  It's not an ocean Paul!

Mike:  "Rocky"  Mike has been the most aggressive ride attacking the hills with a vengeance. 

Mark:  "Fight Club"  Mark took us all to the local Irish pub in Princeton for my birthday to watch more UFC than I have seen in my whole life. 

Wayman:  "BIG RING"

Wayman's front derailleur broke on the way to Manning Park.  This means he is stuck in his hardest front gear.  He has ridden since then virtually entirely in his big ring. 

Tanya:  "Rules are made to be Broken"  Ask Tanya, maybe she'll enlighten you.

Message from Mike

Here we are in Oliver, with the end in sight. It's been a lot of fun. Thanks to our family and friends for their messages of support. The highlight of today for me was blasting down the hill into Osoyoos, and of course ending with everyone jumping into the pool right after the ride finished. Everyone is doing so well, and I'm glad to be a part of it.

Mark's words

well this is fun I would say sums it up...This has been one heck of  an experience and we're 440 km's in, meaning we should have only 45 km's left but today turned out to be about 40km's longer than we had originally thought. I was not the happiest camper when I found this out at breakfast but I made it. My legs are incredibly sore but I'm going to keep pushing and get it done tomorrow. I'm looking forward to getting back home and not being able to move for a week :-).


3 down 1 to go !

A word from Paul

The last 3 days have been brilliant, some tough cycling but very rewarding at the end of each day. Our first day to Hope was 170km which was for the most part fairly good although the heavens opened on us with about 35km to go. Not enough to dampen our spirits though, its amazing after a hard day of physical graft, you really do appreciate the simple things in life, like a hot shower, a warm meal and a bed. I knew the second day would be tough, Carl had warned us about it and the warning was well founded. The first 70km or so to Manning Park were very tough, I'd say 50km of this was uphill. The afternoon didn't get much easier and at the end of the day, we covered 138km and we all felt like we had earned a serious dinner which we had to celebrate Carl's birthday. Oh yah I wore a new pair of cycling shorts on day 2 and realised that my old ridiculous pair of jean shorts that I have been cycling with for the past few years have no chamois left (the pad in cycling shorts that protects the import ants parts of a man's body!!). I did wear them again today but they have been officially retired from the sport today !!

Oliver - Day three

Well they made it - the drive was beautiful and the guys will be posting their thoughts tonight.  I'll post my pictures first....

Hello to Bob at the Hedley Trading Post!  Thanks for keeping me company while I waited for the team.  Good luck with your new online store!

Well, due to the Iron Man I was not able to stop to get action shots of the biking..however it didn't take too much to talk the guys into this action shot :)

.....and I just Had to post this one!  Is 'priceless' the right word?  This is the Official Retirement of the faux jean bike shorts!

Day 3

We had a hard day yesterday, a lot of very long hills...and I mean very long. The guys kept on it and it all went well. Well, a few little adventures, and the guys will be posting in their own words soon. We didn't have wireless access but are back on now, and about to head out for day three.  Here is today's route.

Oh - Item Of Note.  The route had been changed due to the Iron Man happening in the Interior. The guys are now cycling 550 Kilometers!!  I'm pretty sure Mark is still in denial.

                                          Route - Day 3

                               Here are pictures from yesterdays ride:

Rebbecca with the Roadside Assistance Team.
We high-tailed it pretty quick when we saw a black bear 30 feet away!

They summitted two mountains yesterday.  Long, long day.
There is talk of sore and stiff bodies, but all in all everyone is keeping in good spirits! 

Any South Park fans out there? Tanya and Carl in Princeton....yes we did go there this morning for breakfast, and yes it was closed :)

Day 2 Route

6:15am, and we are off.  Looks to be a hotter day, less or no rain and sun through the day.  This day has a lot more challenging steep hills and we plan to have 3 rest stops to refuel. I'll try to get some pictures and post them this evening.

BIG shout out to Carl - Happy Birthday Buddy!!  :)

Our Awesome Early Morning Support Rally Team and Send Off!

Just before Take off in Vancouver

Nice Day for a ride??

Ride went well today, even though there was some serious rain storms.  The car got hailed on, but the boys didn't.  We are in Hope now...there is some talk of sore knees and backs but everyone is in good spirits and shape. 

Off to find a good dinner and get a good nights sleep.  Tomorrows ride will be the most difficult, through the mountains....but we're prepaired!

Day One!

And they're off!

The riders left on schedule today at 7:30 am from the office of Nicola Wealth Management in Vancouver. I am soon to follow them, and will be posting some pictures of our departure later today or tonight as I get them from our volunteer photographers. 

Day One's Route -

Mark's Update

I have spent the last week off the bike, trying to give my legs some much needed rest before the ride and giving myself the opportunity to enjoy some of the other sports I enjoy playing in the summer like tennis and golf. At this point, I just want to get going. I did a small ride last night to keep my legs fresh and I felt good. I know it's going to be extremely hard and I just need to pace myself and take it easy the whole way through.

Calling me a rookie when it comes to doing a ride like this is an understatement. If it weren't for Carl and the others I would be lost out there. I don't even know how to change a tire on my bike!!! The only thing I do know how to do on my bike is ride it, so hopefully that will be enough.

Although most people I talk to think I'm crazy for doing this, the support we have gotten has been amazing and I want to thank everyone for their generosity and support. Only a few more days now!

Bulembu Featured in Province Newspaper!

Read the article in this weeks Province Newspaper here:

Wayman's Update

Wayman - Riding in Pulia
Well with just a few days left before we head off to Kelowna I am as ready as I am going to be. I spent the last four days sitting in a boat in the Queen Charlottes catching salmon and halibut so training has been minimal these past few days. I took my bike to get tuned up and ready for the big ride and picked up extra spokes, tires, and all the extras and I am just grateful that Carl will be along to show me how to use all this equipment should I need it.

It has been a great experience inviting friends and colleagues to support the ride and I have been overwhelmed at the generosity of many who have contributed the funds to make this such a worthwhile fundraiser for Bulembu. My daughter left an awesome care package for me for the ride with everything I could ever need including leg cream for my freshly shaved legs, chocolate bars to fatten me up and notes of encouragement for each day of the ride. So thank you family and friends for all the incredible support – now I just have to get the job done!

Looking forward to it!


Andy's Update

It's been a crazy couple of weeks for me since I've actually relocated to Kelowna and started a new job here while continuing to train for the ride and drive back and forth to Vancouver.

I couldn't bring my bike until last weekend and rented this road bike and it took a little getting used to but man it's light and fast.

Now I'm back on my bike and it felt like a tank that first day, but I'm enjoying some new scenery and riding some pretty nasty and steep hills around West Kelowna. It's definitely A LOT drier here and keeping hydrated as we come inland from the coast is gonna be huge.

Looking forward to the ride!

Talk to me Goose!! (by Paul)

Last week I went into a bike shop to have my bike serviced and pick up some spare bits and bobs for the trip. The mechanic in the shop who had previously serviced my bike a few months ago remembered my bike (which is called a Mongoose) and warmly greeted him as “the goose” when he saw me coming with him. Goose and I have had many long days together, here in Canada, in Ireland and in Australia. He’s getting on in years now (not unlike myself) and he has a few creeks in him but I know he’ll be grand for this trip. It’s Maverick I’d be more concerned about but I think between the two of them, they should be fine!!

As I write this, its T minus 5 days to go, I’m really looking forward to getting going now, picked up a few last minute things today, got an extra pair of shorts which I tested out for an hour or so this evening - all good, they’re not quite as ridiculous looking as the jean pair I have but they’ll do the job.

We’ve all trained quite hard for this trip so I know all this hard work will help us all enjoy the long days in the saddle that much more. I’ve actually done more training for this cycle than for the one I did across Australia a few years ago. Can’t wait to hit the open road now and get going………

Mike's Update - Victoria Weekend Race

Here is a photo taken this past weekend.  This was a charity ride with ~200 participants from all backgrounds (some pros, some novice riders, all at the same pace).

There is a hill on the island called "the malahat" (between Victoria and Duncan) that I've been training on to get ready for the hills on our upcoming trip. Coming down the Malahat last week, my top speed reached was 82km/h, the fastest I've (ever?) gone.

Hopefully we will have some similar hills to look forward to next week!

The Tire Change (and a snippet of cycling history)

I  wish we had a photo of Paul with his collection of flat tubes around his neck from the last Squamish ride I did with the group. It looked like he had the full Indiana Jones pit of snakes around his neck. The Squamish highway is well known for its sharp rocks and potential to cause bad tire flats for cyclists. When Paul flatted I had my first opportunity to pass on my knowledge of how to efficiently repair a flat tire. Paul assisted by demonstrating what happens if you do things wrong (sorry Paul), with great educational results for the rest, and a nice loooong roadside break. I understand Wayman had a quick tire change when he flatted some days later, so thanks to Paul for the demonstration.

The riders will certainly be changing some flat tires on the ride to Kelowna, but our challenges will be only the smallest inconvenience when compared to what the children and others in Bulembu face. So we’re up for it!

Below is a photo of our last training ride – we each decided to carry one of Paul’s tires around our neck :o) Actually, this is how riders used to carry their spare tires. The smoking (yes, that’s what they are doing in the photo), I understand, was thought to “open up” the lungs for the long climbs.

Thanks for reading.


Support Person - Rebecca

I have long admired the work of the Bulembu Foundation and so when the opportunity came up to be involved in this initative to raise funds I knew I wanted to be a part of it somehow. It started with a half joking/ half serious suggestion to my husband Andy that he participate in the bike ride to Kelowna for Bulembu.... I was surprise when he said yes! Since then I have been actively involved in the fundraising & organizing aspect and will be driving one of the support vehicles. It has been amazing to watch the dedication of the cyclists and hear of the trials & tribulations of their training as well as working with the fantastic folks of the Bulembu Foundation.

Many thanks to all those that have offered support to the ride - financial or is making a difference!

Support Person - Tanya

I was so inspired when I saw John Nicola's (and family) pictures when they returned from their trip to Bulembu.  The impact a small group of people can have on the lives of others is truly amazing.

When I heard the guys were equally inspired to raise funds by sacrificing their time and bodies by doing this ride, simply to bring some attention to this charity, I knew I had to get on board in any way I could.  I am not a bike rider, and instead opted to help with running this blog (Please - forward this to everyone you ever met!!!), driving my car with the riders for the distance, carrying, organizing and pretty much anything else I can think of.

I would like to thank everyone who has made donations so far, and those that will. All of our combined efforts in making this world a better place are to be commended!

Rider - Carl

Name: Carl Jacobson
Nicknames: Rabbit or Jackrabbit
Other activities: Member of Board of Directors of cycling team:

My goal: Get back onto my road bike, to continue my involvement in cycling with new and keen participants while raising money for a great charity.
My Cycling Background: I used to ride a lot back when I raced bikes. I still love the freedom of getting out on my bicycle. Seeing others experience the same simple joy makes me remember why I enjoy riding. This can be through watching the younger guys on the team I am involved with grow and learn as I once did, or it can be through talking and riding with newer cyclists – which has a way of helping me re-find the simple joy of riding. I’m really looking forward to this ride as it is a great bunch of people involved and has a great charitable purpose.

Rider - Mark

My main objective is to get to Kelowna :-).  I hadn't been on a bike in about 10 years up until 3 months ago. When this idea was first discussed I said I would do it because I want to do everything, but I really did not think it would actually happen. Once I realised this was actually going to happen, I realised I needed to go out and buy a bike.

My first couple of rides made me think there was no way I would be able to accomplish this, but after a few months of training I have started to feel confident about this and I am looking forward to testing my mental and physical endurance on this trip.

There are two things that have kept me committed to training and doing this ride. One is the charity we are doing this for. Everyday of my life I look around and am so grateful for what I have and the things I get to do and the least I can do to show my gratitude is be a part of something like this and help others that aren't as fortunate as I am. The second thing is the experience. When I am old and relaxing on my rocking chair looking back on my life, I want to be satisfied knowing I left no rock unturned and experienced as much as I could.  My motto: Judge your success in life by the sacrifices you made to achieve your goals.
No nickname yet :-)

Rider - Wayman

Wayman's Words:

Motivator - I love challenges, I believe in the work that Bulembu is doing and am happy to be part of a Nicola Team!

Personal Goal – to personally raise $10,000 for Bulembu, and to make it up those hills!

Personal Fear – sitting on a 2 X 4 for four days!

Accomplishment of the week – I made it to Squamish and back!

Upcoming challenge – riding up both Seymour and Cypress back to back

Recommendation of the week – Bum gum – yes that special cyclist's cream really does work for longer rides.

Rider - Mike

My goal is just to complete the ride and to help everyone else finish the ride and have fun!

My background - used to mountain bike a long time ago, but haven't done much road biking until this year. I've never ridden this distance before, but enjoy running marathons. I live in Victoria, and work as a chartered accountant there.

I met Paul while hiking in the Himilayas.

Riding motto: sparkle and fade. No nicknames yet, although I'm due!

Rider - Paul

Paul (or Puca as his friends at home call him) recently moved to Canada from Ireland. No stranger to challenges, Paul once rowed a boat across the Atlantic. read that right! Check out his book - "Crossing the Swell". Not to mention riding his bike across Australia!

In Paul's words: 

Info about me ....I have always liked to take on challenges and I know this cycle will be a big challenge for all of us. It is an opportunity to once again don my ridiculous pair of cycling shorts (that I intend to wear every day of the cycle)...they are proper cycling shorts but they look like stain washed jeans from the 80's complete with pockets and belt painted onto the shorts....dodgy out!

My personal goal for this trip is to get to Kelowna with no broken bones, ensure that we all make it and raise as much money as we can for Bulembu. It is an incredible cause that is changing the lives of many people much less fortunate than me or you so please do give what you can. For me, knowing that our efforts are going to help others will keep me going up what I've been told are some long and steep hills!

Rider - Andy

My cycling experience has been limited to commuting to work and back on and off over the last several years. Up until a couple months ago I never rode my bike for more than a half an hour at a time.

My current situation doesn’t let me ride to work- I have to take my 2 boys to daycare, so I’ve taken this opportunity to get back on my bike, get back in shape, and help some people in dire need all at the same time.

Some may call me crazy but I need something extreme like this to keep me motivated and focused.

Since I’ve started training I’ve ridden from Vancouver to Harrison; Courtenay up to (almost) the top of Mount Washington (I turned around when a Big Black bear crossed the road just ahead of me); and several rides up Mount Seymour and various other routes around town.

So far on my rides I’ve seen 1 Bear; a few deer; several raccoons and skunks and 2 chipmunks. I’m no stranger to bears- I grew up in the Yukon and I like bears but I don’t want to see any more bears please and thank you!