Announcing Child Soldier Cycle: 1800km of Eastern Canada in August 2010

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, The first three pages of the registration package explain a lot of the details, so make sure to check that out.


Philip Schleihauf
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!

Sounds like a fun ride. What unis would the the one wheelers be riding? Post updates if you can, once the ride begins. Good luck!

Thanks, Denali, yeah, it’s definitely going to be a blast.

at this point I’ll probably be riding my un-geared kh36 on 110s, or maybe shorter if I get a brake. There is another rider from Ottawa, can’t think of the brand off the top of my head but he’ll also be on a 36. I think he rides 150s.

I’ve gotten interest from some people with 29ers, though no commitments yet. I’ve never ridden a 29" wheel so I can’t comment on speed there, but I’ve been encouraging one guy to maybe take a bike instead of his 24 on this one - he doesn’t have any real long distance experience on it, and I think this tour would be too ambitious for a first. I can’t even imagine going more than a few km on road on my 24, although I have 150mm cranks on it. Either way, 50,000 wheel revolutions on a small wheel in a day just sounds like too much.

hehehe, maybe with 70 mm cranks O:-)

I would really like to do it, I’ll have to see with my parents though. I know I could do it, I just dont know if my parents would let me do it:p

70mm cranks and spinning their legs off! Hey, I won’t be the one to stop anyone who wants to come if they’re up for it.

Jakob, don’t forget to remind them the tour is supported. Heck, if they’re worried, tell them to come themselves! The more the better. You’ve got a good month and a bit to warm them up to it anyway.

Hey Phil, I might be down, I really like your approach of not supporting a specific charity. I have a lot of issues with many of the charities currently opperating in the area, and I just can’t get enough solid info on any to be willing to give support to anything other than people I personally know going over there to help.

I’m also looking at doing the Rideau Lakes tour if you are interested in joining me, should be fun to beat some bikes on a double century.

Sweet! I’m going to be so happy if we can get a whole crew of unis on this tour. It can only help for getting attention.

One of the goals is to compile information about a lot of charities as objectively as possible: what their goals are, what action they take, basic breakdown of their financials, etc. and promote this instead of specifically one organization. I think not being tied to a specific charity will lend some credibility, or at least reinforce the notion that we really do care about awareness and think it’s important.

When is the Rideau Lakes tour? If it fits I am definitely down, although I think I heard recently they had filled up all the spaces.