Jonathan Allenger was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) ten years ago. He is now riding across Canada, a whopping 6,000 kilometres, to raise 1 million dollars for MS research as well as to raise awareness.
He set off Vancouver on May 7, and his ride will finish on June 26. So far, he’s raised over $60,000. Allenger is a keen cyclist and has been training hard for the ride, with a mix of running and cycling.
His team has a plan for the ride, but as most cyclists know, you can only plan so much. Weather, wind, mechanicals—Allenger is aware that some days will be harder than others, especially with his own personal challenge of living with MS. But he’s driven by his goal and will do whatever it takes to make it to St. John’s at the end of June.
“I spent the least amount of time during this project planning day by day because I knew that would be the most variable, the reality of my situation and having MS,” Allenger explains. “Plus, there’s the weather, road closures, who knows.”
Allenger is starting his cross-country ride earlier than others who have done it in the past and realizes it may be wetter and colder to begin. For him, that’s also because the colder weather can help with his symptoms from MS, though the rain does not.
Riding in 30 degrees is pretty much like being in an oven. The hot temperatures seem to bring on symptoms more, so I try to stay cool,” he says. “I’ve used ice packs on my back or on my head under the helmet to keep me comfortable. So, generally speaking, cooler temps are easier on my body.”
“Riding in 30 degrees is pretty much like being in an oven. The hot temperatures seem to bring on symptoms more, so I try to stay cool,” he says. “I’ve used ice packs on my back or on my head under the helmet to keep me comfortable. So, generally speaking, cooler temps are easier on my body.”
A team effort
His support team will follow in an RV camper to in whatever way they can, whether that’s encouragement, fluids, snacks, or mechanical assistance, they will be there. The RV will also be their mobile base and home for the two-month journey.
“This would not be possible without a team of volunteers. Everyone has graciously donated their time to create videos, help out with social media, help on the fundraising service strategy, help secure sponsorship,” he adds. “I’m pushing and pushing and pushing, but at the same time, my energy levels are fluctuating. So, if it wasn’t for the help of…
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