By the time you read this they will have already conquered the three biggest climbs of their journey across Canada, fuelled in part by the heartfelt send-off they got from family, friends and supporters.
Local fitness trainer and amazing motivator Wanetta Beal, 38, and her team, including riding partner, Brad Holmes from Nanaimo, shipped off Wednesday morning for the start of an epic 8,000 kilometer bike ride across Canada that began in Coombs and ends on the shores of St. John’s, Newfoundland.
The two will be making the ride across on a vegan diet — no cooked foods of any kind.
“Nervous,” Brad answered Tuesday morning when asked how he was feeling.
On Tuesday more than two dozen people turned out at One on One Fitness at Coombs Junction to send the team off on their final pre-ride. The plan was to ride to Departure Bay and back, then ship off on the first sailing Wednesday morning.
Brad says they have four big climbs to contend with in B.C. before hitting the friendlier terrains beyond, including Hope Slide and Richter Pass.
No stranger to pushing the limits of human endurance, last June Brad ran the length of New Brunswick (480 kms) in four days.
“This is different though,” he said, and admitted, “my ass doesn’t have a clue what it’s in for.”
The team will be sleeping in the two support vehicles along the way which have beds.
Wanetta’s truck has been equipped with a T3 Recovery Mattress, the newest innovation in extreme sports meant to reduce recovery times for athletes.
“It retails for around $3,500 and it’s incredible; I’m so lucky,” Wanetta marvelled when asked about the bed. “Mark Nagra at M&N Furniture donated it — he wants me to test it out.”
Driving the other support vehicle will be Wanetta’s niece Tayla Beal who also plans on doing a lot of riding as well (which will involve driving the truck up ahead, riding back to meet up and ride with the duo, then return to the truck).
Wanetta and Brad figure they’ll be on the road for about six hours a day.
“I call it the billboard on wheels,” Liz Forrest smiled when asked about the lead vehicle covered with decals of sponsors that have made the trip possible.
The easy going Forrest has a huge role in this journey, as she will be in charge of fuelling the riders with raw food and raw food supplements.
The trip is expected to take three months.
Wanetta looked relaxed and in great spirits as person after person shook her hand, hugged her and wished her and her team Godspeed.
To follow Riding Raw or to make a donation go to www.ridingraw.webs.com.