Riding across Canada while raising money for cancer research
Two men from Montreal ended their fundraiser in St. John's Friday morning
From Victoria, B.C., to St. John's — that's how far Luis Nasim and Manny Alonso rode their bikes, but what means even more to the pair is that they raised $47,500 for prostate cancer research along the way.
"This is the realization of a dream, we managed to cycle across Canada and to raise money for a good cause," Nasim said.
Best friends for more than 20 years the duo from Montreal biked for over three months, finishing their 100-day journey Friday morning at the Terry Fox Memorial in downtown St.John's.
The two men, both in their 60s, are recently retired. Both Nasim and Alonso have family and friends who are affected in some way by prostate cancer.
"Basically we wanted to raise money for our local hospital. We want men to get checked because if you catch it early you have a better chance of curing it. One in seven men in Canada will get prostate cancer," Nasim said.
Their goal was $50,000 but they came up just a little shy. "Hopefully, in the next few hours we can get the $2,500 we need in order to reach our goal," Nasim said
Newfoundland presented its challenges
Alonso and Nasim biked through every province in the country going through the Rockies, Saskatchewan, and Ontario but the pair say the 1,400 kilometres they biked in Newfoundland presented some of the most difficult terrain they faced and tested them like no other province.
"Newfoundland … boy, you guys got hills. We did maybe 1,400 kilometres in Newfoundland and we feel it," said Nasim.
"Rocky Harbour, I'll remember Rocky Harbour. It was great going down but coming back up, man, was it tough," Alonso added.
The kindness of strangers
But while Newfoundland presented the toughest terrain, Alonso and Nasim say that the kindness of Newfoundlanders is something that will be a lasting memory of their grueling 100 day journey across the country.
"People have been amazing throughout everywhere, but Newfoundland has been especially good to us. We had people take us into their houses and give us supper, we had people making spur of the moment donations for our cause. It's been very emotional," Nasim said.