North

Alberta man cycles Dempster Highway for multiple sclerosis fundraiser

Greg Van Tighem of Jasper, Alta., is on his way home after biking the Dempster Highway to raise money for multiple sclerosis.

Cyclist Greg Van Tighem rode fat tire bike to Inuvik, continued on the ice road to Tuktoyaktuk

Van Tighem, seen here with a resident of Inuvik, N.W.T., biked the Dempster Highway from Dawson City this month to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. (Greg Van Tighem/Facebook)

Greg Van Tighem of Jasper, Alta., is on his way home after biking the Dempster Highway on a fat tire bike to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Van Tighem rode the highway from Dawson City to Inuvik, then cycled the ice road to Tuktoyaktuk — a "tough" journey that took him more than two weeks and required a deft balancing act when it came to drinking water, he says.

"I had to boil lots of snow in the morning to produce water," he says. "But if boiled too much it would freeze two thirds of the way into the day. So I had to be careful how I stored the water."

The friendliness of truckers — who often stopped to give Van Tighem some water or to share their bologna sandwiches — helped lift his spirits during the lonely, 10-hour-a-day trip.

"That was a real picker-upper," he says.

Van Tighem, who has a number of friends with MS, says he's trying to raise $93,000 this year. So far he has raised $10,000.

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