Hey everyone, I’m really excited to announce a tour I’m helping organize next summer: Child Soldier Cycle. The registration package has just been released, and it would be awesome to get some more unicyclists in on this.
Child Soldier Cycle is an awareness campaign. It is dozens of cyclists from all over North America pedaling themselves 1800km from Ottawa, Ontario to St John’s, Newfoundland. It is a response to mainstream media’s continued silence to this issue. The sheer number of riders with a shared ambition, combined with their connections across the continent will be impossible to ignore.
The tour will be a mix of unicyclists and bicyclists. No tricyclists have expressed interest as of yet, but anything goes as long as it’s human powered. It is a supported tour, but “supported” in this case means one small car to cary some of the heavy stuff.
Departure from Ottawa is August 1. We’ll ride three to four days at a time between rest days, easing in with some easy 50-60km days and working up to longer distances. A few days will be over 100km, but the overall daily average will be around 80km. After 22 riding and seven rest days, we roll into St John’s on August 29th.
The Route: Eastern Canada boasts some of the most fantastic scenery and landscapes in the world. The tour will also roll through many of Canada’s best cities. We’ll be taking days off in Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton and Charlottetown to name a few. Check out the schedule to see daily distances, the map, and the day-by-day schedule. We’re still working on the exact roads we’ll be taking.
Money. We’re keeping costs low as much as possible. Accommodations will include a lot of camping, community centres, and church basements. Food will be bought in bulk and prepared for everyone (cheaper and convenient). These, along with one-time costs like ferries and gear, a 7% contingency fund and then $100 to help cover tour costs brings the estimated total to $900. A full budget is available on request. Any financial sponsorship will be used to lower this cost for everyone.
We are not raising money for a charity. This is a dedicated awareness campaign for child soldiering as an issue, and we think we can maximize our impact by specifically refusing to take money from the people we talk to. I got a chance last year to experiment with this approach, and it’s amazing how much more people will listen to what you have to say if they can’t just hand you a $20 to shut up and then get on with their day. We realize that at the end of the day action has to happen somewhere, so we are affiliating with many different charities and suggesting ways for people to take informed action. I’m pretty excited about what we’ll be able to do with this approach, I think it’s really going to catch people off guard.
We need people. The more riders on the road at any given time, the more attention we will attract and the more impact our message will have. If you have responsibilities keeping you from riding the full tour, you would be most welcome to join for as long as you can. Day-rides out of the larger cities will be arranged and no registration is necessary, but fill out the form if you plan on riding for anything longer.
Deadline for registration is May 7. After that date we will consider applications on a case-by-case basis.
For more information right now, check out the website, http://childsoldiercycle.ca. The first three pages of the registration package explain a lot of the details, so make sure to check that out.
Child Soldier Cycle Team - Web Admin
Fun Fact: Just 22 riders are needed on this tour to bring the combined distance ridden to the circumpherence of the earth!