Canada's 150th birthday is the reason why two cyclists from Kingston, Ont., are embarking on a 15,000-km coast-to-coast journey.

​Jonathon Reed and Asad Chishti kicked off their expedition in St. John's this week after spending a couple of days on the ground in Newfoundland preparing for their ride. Their trek will take them across the country, including to the Arctic community of Inuvik before finishing in British Columbia.

But the trip isn't about balloons and birthday cake. Reed said Canada 150 is a perfect opportunity to shed light on some darker aspects of the country's national heritage, including how the Trans-Canada Railway was built by migrant workers, and issues that are still facing Indigenous people today.

Lori Ann Lennie

The trek by bike will include a stop in Inuvik. (submitted by Lori Ann Lennie)

"We chose to do this trip in this year because we wanted to use the timing of it as a springboard and opportunity to look at more underrepresented and marginalized [stories]," said Reed.

Bike and blog

Both cyclists are avid photographers and will be documenting their journey on their blog  As The Raven Flies.

The hope is that when they complete the trip in six months, they'll have enough material to complete a book and a feature documentary on the experience.

As the raven flies blog bike

The cyclists have a blog where they plan to post updates about their trek. (As the Raven Flies)

"We'd like to essentially create a time capsule, an accessible time capsule, of what are some of the issues that are important to us in this moment in time and then have that as some sort of a legacy project," added Chishti.

You can follow along with their journey here

With files from the St. John's Morning Show and Mark Quinn