Salvation Army member Claude Pelletier started biking for the health benefits. Now, four years later, he‚Äôs biking for something bigger.
© Daily Herald photo by Jason Kerr.
Salvation Army member Claude Pelletier plans to bike from Prince Albert to Winnipeg and back to raise money for the Partners in Mission campaign. Funds will go to help fund schools, clinics and clean water in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Pelletier is raising money and awareness for the Salvation Army‚Äôs Partners in Mission campaign by biking to Winnipeg and back. The trip is expected to take one week each way.
‚ÄúWhen you bike, you bike for yourself, but when you‚Äôre doing it for someone, it‚Äôs more encouraging,‚ÄĚ the longtime Corrections worker says. ‚ÄúIt will help somebody else, and somebody that I probably will never meet, not in this world anyway.‚ÄĚ
Pelletier has been doing trips like this for three years. Last year he raised funds by biking to Nipawin and back. The year before he attempted a round trip from Prince Albert, to North Battleford, to Saskatoon and back to P.A., but multiple flat tires derailed the tour.
He says he‚Äôd be doing it anyway, so why not do it for a worthy cause. He‚Äôs due to retire next year and he want to bike from Prince Albert to Newfoundland.
He says this is a test run to see if it‚Äôs something he could realistically attempt, and if he can help a charity out along the way, even better.
‚ÄúThis has really worked well. I would probably bike anyway, but it‚Äôs a little more challenging when you‚Äôre doing it for a cause.‚ÄĚ
Pelletier‚Äôs trip is entirely dependent upon the weather. He says he‚Äôd like to start on the May long weekend, but that date can be pushed forward or back depending on the temperature. Ideally he‚Äôll be biking 10 hours a day, but nothing is written in stone.
‚ÄúAs much as I say I‚Äôll only bike 10 hours a day, if I get a good tail wind I‚Äôll push for 15, because maybe tomorrow I‚Äôll fight the wind. It‚Äôs kind of hard to tie it down, because you bike with the weather.‚ÄĚ
Pelletier‚Äôs doesn‚Äôt have a personal fundraising goal, although the Salvation Army chapter he‚Äôs a part of is hoping to raise $10,000 for the cause.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs not just building the houses, it‚Äôs in the Christian context,‚ÄĚ he says. ‚ÄúThey‚Äôll be able to become more self-sufficient.‚ÄĚ
Self-sufficiency is something Pelletier will have to rely on as he makes his trip. For most of the journey he‚Äôll sleep in a tent with some aid from the Salvation Army group he meets along the way, and the occasional stay in a hotel.
It‚Äôs all a part of making the trip alone, and if he does stay in a hotel, he pays for it.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt get any money from this. Everything that I make goes into (the fund). If I have to stay in a hotel room, I pay for it.‚ÄĚ
Pelletier already has everything he needs for his trip, although he could use a few more donations. He traded in his old bike for a new one to help him make the trip, and he‚Äôll be doing some more canvassing to raise as much money as possible.
He says he‚Äôs happy for the support he‚Äôs received and happy to get on the road.
‚ÄúSo far it‚Äôs been very good and people have been great.‚ÄĚ