Liv Pique Advanced 1 BIKE TEST
Marinne Shelawa is not yet 30, and she has seen more of this country than most of us see in a lifetime. Cycling over 7,700km (on a 70-lb. bike!) from Tofino, BC, to Cape Spear, Nfld., afforded her an uninterrupted view of Canada that can only be seen from the seat of a bicycle. Through the summer of 2016, she awoke each morning thinking, “Today my job is to ride my bicycle, and that’s a pretty great job!” What a job indeed!
It’s a feat that you’d think requires super-human fitness and Tour de France training to accomplish. But as a down-to-earth Edmontonian whose training came mostly from commuting and simply riding her bike everywhere she could, Shelawa would tell you otherwise. In her mind, “cycle touring isn’t about racing up the hill the fastest; it’s about enjoying the ride.” And enjoy the ride she did. When asked her favourite section of the 7,700km ride, without hesitation she responds, “Cycling the Cabot Trail!”
She quickly notes that her biggest surprise was the reception she received from those she encountered along the way. Offers of lodging, money, food and support were commonplace from complete strangers. She was even invited to a house-warming party! Such support from strangers was in stark contrast to the tumultuous relationship she found between cyclists and motorists in Edmonton.
One might think cycling across Canada would complete the adventure cycling section of your bucket list, but not for Shelawa. In February 2018, she is riding across Ethiopia with We Ride (www. werideafrica.com) in an effort to raise $1 million and awareness for the women of Ethiopia – women who walk over 10km each day just to get clean water for their families. Shelawa will be part of a team of four cyclists raising money for water wells in these communities, which will enable the women to focus on growing sustainable businesses rather than daily necessities.
While adventure cycling is a passion for her, so is empowering women, which makes this ride and cause a perfect marriage. It’s not every day that riding your bike can have such a significant impact on the lives of other women.
Canada, Ethiopia – why stop there? While many lament the exit of their 20s upon turning 30, Shelawa has a better idea: she’s going to ride across America in 30 days for her 30th birthday. Participating in
Don’t worry about the destination, just
enjoy the ride!
over 7,700km from
Tofino,BC, to Cape Spear,
One long the
around ride is to touch all of world and
by bike. oceans the