LU grad completes 59-day bike tour for cancer research


By Ron Guillet

A Laurentian graduate completed a bike tour over the summer that spanned across 36 locations and lasted 59 days.

Justin Danecke started the trip in Victoria, B.C., and finished in Halifax, NS. The bike tour was meticulously planned so that Danecke would reach Sudbury on the day of his graduation from the Sports and Physical Education program.

The purpose of the trip was to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society. Breast cancer claimed the life of one of Danecke’s aunts five years ago, and another is currently dealing with brain cancer.

Danecke had set himself the lofty goal of reaching $20,000 in donations, to which $2,790 has been collected thus far.

Danecke said the weather was favourable throughout the eight weeks, as he only dealt with about six days of rain. He also rode through headwinds in the prairies, which set him back three days. In terms of other minor setbacks, he had three flat tires, wore through a tire and chain, and had a brace snap on the front rack of his bicycle.

To minimize the costs of sleeping arrangements, Danecke stayed with friends or stopped at hotels along the way. He was equipped with four bags containing supplies and food.

Danecke said he retrieved the majority of his meals from grocery stores. He replenished his water bottles at restaurants and gas stations and never had the use the water purifier he brought with him.

Danecke said reaching the top of Allison Pass, a summit 1,342 meters high in British Columbia, was one the highlights of the trip.

“It was a real high point for me,” Danecke said. “It was said to be the most physically demanding day of climbing.”

Danecke said returning to Sudbury for his graduation was also a highlight.

“Biking into Sudbury for graduation and actually making it on time and seeing all my classmates was awesome,” Danecke said. “At the graduation party, the hosts (Catherine and John Colasimone) collected money from all the graduates for dinner and snacks, and with the leftover money ($120) they donated it to my ride.”

Danecke said he had originally planned the trip with another biker but due to time and money constraints he had to make it a solo trip.

“If I had a support team I think I would of been able to get a lot more exposure because they could have driven ahead and contacted the media,” Danecke said. “Because I was by myself I was often not getting into town until after everything was closed, and left town before things were open. My tight timeline didn’t allow me to hang around any one town or city very long, so I couldn’t spare a lot of time for interviews and what not.”

Those who wish to donate can visit