An Alberta man is cycling across Canada, calling on federal and provincial governments to get the Trans Canada Trail off roads and highways. Thursday, the campaign passed through Durham. Joe Scarpelli reports.
“Well this was not a journey that I originally planned.”
In 2008 Edmund Aunger and his wife Elizabeth went to P.E.I. to cycle the Trans Canada Trail.
“The afternoon we got there she was hit by a drunk driver and killed.”
That horrific accident would change Aunger’s cycling hobby to a cycling mission. Aunger says he always had a passion for cycling but his wife needed some convincing before taking up the sport.
“When she finally agreed to go cycling, she laid down one condition, she said no roads, it’s too dangerous to ride on roads.”
Just months after Aunger’s wife was killed she was set to retire. She already had a retirement project in mind.
“My wife was finding that we couldn’t find safe places on the Trans Canada Trail to ride, she said ‘when I take my retirement, I’m going to work for the Trans Canada Trail, to make it safe.”
Now, Aunger has taken the project into his own hands. He’s riding the Trans Canada Trail from Victoria, B.C. to Charlottetown, P.E.I. over the course of five summers. He’s calling on federal and provincial governments to get the country-wide trail off roads and highways.
President of the Durham Mountain Bike Association, John Fisher says travelling coast-to-coast without a motor vehicle has always been a dream of his, and after Aunger’s mission, that dream could soon become a reality.
“To have a coast-to-coast trail all on trails… it is something that a mountain biker would love.”
Ethan joined the Durham leg of Aunger’s 12,500 kilometre journey. He says he does his best to avoid riding alongside motor vehicles.
“If it’s a busy road with lots of trucks, I don’t feel safe, I feel a bit scared because if they hit you the slightest bit, you’re going to fall off and it’s going to hurt.”
Aunger says after his cross-country ride, he’ll be a Parliament Hill with his documented hazards and present his findings.