Blind cyclist’s cross-country ride wraps up in Victoria
Lloyd Mclean and Bob MacDonald of Pictou, N.S. are not your ordinary cycling enthusiasts. They just finished cycling over 8,260 km as part of an 85-day cross-Canada bicycle tour on behalf of blind cyclist, Craig Aucoin. The national ride raised awareness and funds for three major Canadian charities that helped transform Aucoin’s life: CNIB, Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind and YMCAs in Canada. The Craig Gives Back team concluded their journey at the Terry Fox Memorial Monument in Victoria, B.C. on Sunday, Oct. 27.
“Craig and the team's achievements and their tireless commitment to the cause have been nothing short of inspirational," said John Rafferty, president and CEO of CNIB. "We are proud to work with Craig and Bob, as we work with people of all ages who are blind or partially sighted to provide the personalized rehabilitation support they need to see beyond vision loss, build their independence and pursue their dreams."
As the tour made its way across the country, many inspiring individuals took up Aucoin’s cause – first among them was MacDonald, who is partially sighted, and like Aucoin, has retinitis pigmentosa and is a CNIB client.
After beginning the tour in St. John’s, N.L. on Aug. 4, the inspirational Aucoin was forced to withdraw due to cycling injuries to his Achilles tendon and wrist. To ensure the tour would continue while Aucoin recuperated at home, Aucoin and McLean enlisted the help of friend and avid cyclist MacDonald to occupy the second seat on the bike. Aucoin rejoined the tour alongside McLean and MacDonald in Vancouver on Oct. 23.
Aucoin’s selfless decision to not rejoin the ride until its final legs allowed MacDonald to accomplish one of the goals of the Craig Gives Back ride – for the first blind cyclist to cross Canada coast-to-coast (in this case, from Sydney, N.S. to Victoria, B.C.) on a two-wheeled bicycle.
“I’m very grateful to Bob for stepping in to help. Both he and Lloyd did an incredible job at raising awareness across Canada for three extraordinary causes. The Craig Gives Back team is no longer a pair, we’re a trio – the three of us finished the tour together,” said Aucoin.
The Craig Gives Back team travelled over 8,260 km cross-country on the Altena Janus, a back-to-back recumbent tandem bicycle – the only one of its kind in Canada.
For more information on the Craig Gives Back-to-Back Cross-Canada Bicycle Tour or to make a donation, please visit craiggivesback.ca and 'like' Craig Gives Back on Facebook at facebook.com/craiggivesback.
About the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind
Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind (CGDB) is a national, non-profit, registered, charitable organization that assists visually-impaired Canadians with their mobility by providing and training them in the use of professionally trained Guide Dogs.
CNIB is a registered charity, passionately providing community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life.
About the YMCA
YMCA Canada is a registered charity dedicated to building healthy communities by nurturing the potential of children, teens and young adults, promoting healthy living, fostering social responsibility in order to create lasting personal and social change.
Amelia Schofield, Craig Gives Back
Office: (902) 453.1480 ext. 5727
Mobile: (902) 403.2493