Reflections on Beal’s big bike journey

Further to our story Wanetta Beal’s big Riding Raw cycle across Canada, some final thoughts on the incredible journey from the two women who made the trip in support of their friend.

The three amigos

The three amigos

Further to our story Wanetta Beal’s big Riding Raw cycle across Canada, some final thoughts on the incredible journey from the two women who made the trip in support of their friend.

“It’s good to be home; really good,” Liz Forrest, who drove one of the support vehicles and was in charge of the raw vegan diet that kept them all going, started off when asked for some insight into the 7347 km, 70-day journey that started in Coombs and ended at Mile Zero in Cape, Spear Newfoundland.

As far as the food went, “at certain places you have to just make do with what you got, and I think we did quite well where the food preparation was concerned …it’s quite an accomplishment, for sure.”

She said in a lot of ways “it was nothing like I thought it would be. Definitely harder. It was a huge learning experience, and we became a lot closer because of it. Would I do it again? …the three of us girls definitely developed a special bond, that’s for sure.”

Liz, who does raw food demonstrations and can be found on line at livewithliz.com, met Wanetta and her husband Grai back when she used to work at Rawthentic Eatery in QB.

“Definitely a sense of pride,” she said when asked how she felt when it came to an end. “There were a few times that you just wanted to go home …there were times that were really tough, but I’m glad that we finished it.”

She returned home, she said, “with a whole new appreciation for where I live, and the people …I really missed a lot of the people I left behind when I was on the trip.”

Would you do it again?

“Absolutely. I would do it again but not for so long, 10 weeks was such a long time, and I say that because we learned so much. We learned what to do and what not to do …”

* * *

Wanetta’s niece, Tayla, 20, gave the trip “about a 10” on the difficulty scale.

Raised in Bowser and a KSS grad, Tayla went into the cross-country ride not only as support, but with goals of her own.

“I wanted to lose weight, that was huge for me, I wanted to lose weight, plus I’ve had eciema my whole life,” she said, explaining how for years she had the skin irritation over her whole body, but after taking Wanetta’s advice and switching to an 80 per cent raw vegan diet a few years ago, it had disappeared from everywhere except her hands.

Like Wanetta, Tayla did the entire trip 100 per cent raw vegan, and sure enough, the exhema on her hands “is gone.”

Asked if the trip was everything she expected, Tayla, a raw food chef at Rawthentic Eatery for just over two years, chuckled and said “I didn’t realize how long it was. I knew the country was big, but I had no idea …”

Did it change how you see things?

“For sure,” she said. “I appreciate everything so much more. All the little things, I mean we were living in a van …

“I feel great, and now I want to continue,” she said, pointing out that with all that happened “I feel like I want to keep doing it, otherwise it would be a waste (going back to not eating 100 per cent raw vegan).

Tayla was quick to credit Wanetta and Grai “for always influencing me to eat better, eat healthier …they’ve influenced a lot of great things in me.”

Would you do it again we asked?

“Um. I don’t think so,” she chuckled. “No, I don’t think I’d do it again. I’d do something different, but I don’t think I’d go away for that long again.”

PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE

As indicated in the story on Wanetta’s cross-Canada bike ride, part of her motivation was an agreement that if completed, she would be able to offer the Pursuit of Excellence self improvement course to 100 people who don’t have the resources to pay for this “life changing course in personal development.”

Open to anyone ages 18 and up, the course is slated for Oct. 20-23.

To that end Wanetta will be holding an information session for anyone interested in applying on Sept.7 at One on One Fitness at 7 p.m. (2701 Alberni Hwy.)