Forrest Propp’s wheels hit the pavement for Victoria, B.C. on Saturday (June 6) as the local rider is biking around 80 kms a day on the Trans-Canada Highway and B.C. Highway 99 for the advocacy project he created and relates “quite deeply" to.
“It’s a bit daunting, but also exciting,” Propp said.
After being laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Propp exchanged sitting on the couch to raise awareness and $10,000 for the international charity, which “ensures children survive, are protected from harm and have the opportunity to learn."
He decided that a solo bike trip would be the best tool for him to promote the cause, which he’ll not only pedal across B.C. and seek charitable donations, but he'll be blogging and sharing Instagram posts during his three weeks towards Vancouver Island.
“I wanted to do some kind of trip, something that I wasn’t going interact with too many people while I was doing it to respect social distancing,” he said. “Initially, I was going to walk to Vancouver Island, but that seemed a little crazy, so someone convinced me to bike it. I’ve done a ton of cycling in the past, but never something of this magnitude.”
Propp straddled on about 40 pounds of gear and supplies to his bike for the trip. He got into shape with a “gruelling” training regiment, riding about 80-100 km per day in every element. He said he will mainly camp out on Crown land at night.
“I'm prepared for it to be cold and wet," he said. "I’m scared about dying on the highway a little bit, but the highway should be a little less congested, so I think that works in my advantage."
Operating in 114 countries, Save The Children's mission statement is: "When crisis strikes, we are the first on the ground and the last to leave, helping children regardless of who they are or where they live.”
Save The Children Canada programs include national reconciliation, health, education, and climate change.
"There's some personal history behind my choice in charity and it was something I related to a lot," Propp said. "It's a charity I really stand by. They do a lot of good work internationally – they're a huge international company, so it was an obvious choice for me."