Four Canadian cycling enthusiasts are celebrating their 60th birthdays by riding bikes for 60 days across Canada to raise money to build 60 wells in 60 communities in Africa on behalf of the Global Aid Network (GAIN).
The small band is made up of Mike Woodard, Rob Montgomery, Timo Itkonen and Richard Blashek. They arrive in Sudbury July 29 at 7:30 p.m. and will leave at 7 a.m. July 30.
The bikers will hold a meet and greet at 6:30 p.m. on July 29 at 885 Prete St., where they will talk about their experience and answer any questions.
"I'm an average cyclist and wanted to cycle across Canada for many years," said Rob Montgomery. "Two years ago, I was at a conference with my friend and I said 'how would you like to ride across Canada for our 60th birthdays.' He said, ''I'm not going to give you an answer now, but if we do this we have to do it for a cause.'"
The friends started the 8,500-km journey out of Victoria, B.C., on July 1 and hope that by raising money for 60 water wells in Africa they will be able to help provide disease-free water for more than 60,000 villagers. Each well costs $8,500 to install and the group has already funded 24.
GAIN is not only working to install these wells, says Montgomery, but is looking to provide long-term sustainability.
By providing an extra $8.50, water can be provided to an individual for a lifetime. Funds also go towards training people in well maintenance and upkeep, as well as bringing in medical professionals to aid those suffering from illness due to the contaminated water.