North

Inuvik paramedic may have broken cycling world record on trans-Canada route

Chris Bruckner says he cycled from Vancouver to Halifax in 13 days, three hours and 49 minutes.

Chris Bruckner says he cycled across Canada about 2.5 hours faster than current record holder

Inuvik volunteer paramedic Chris Bruckner finished his Trans-Canada cycle at city hall in Halifax on July 13. (Submitted by Chris Bruckner)

Before Chris Bruckner moved to Inuvik in February, he'd already planned an attempt to break the Trans-Canada solo men's biking record.

The current record was set in 13 days, six hours and 13 minutes. Bruckner said he finished his 5,747-kilometre ride in 13 days, three hours and 49 minutes. 

"I knew it was really fast and I knew it was really challenging," said Bruckner, a paramedic and volunteer firefighter. 

"For the last six months I've been doing everything I could to beat this record."

He said the ride was a time trial — a bicycle race where the rider races alone against the clock — across Canada. Cyclists are allowed to choose their own route though for the Trans-Canada race, they must start and finish at the city halls in Halifax or Vancouver.

Bruckner believes he broke a world record when he cycled from Vancouver to Halifax in 13 days, three hours and 49 minutes. (Submitted by Chris Bruckner)

Six months of prep

Bruckner decided to ride from Vancouver toward Halifax.

'As a first responder, I’ve dealt with my fair share of mental-health concerns,' said Bruckner, on why he chose to raise money for the Canadian Mental Health Association. (Submitted by Chris Bruckner)

While working in Inuvik from February to April, Bruckner would jog in town and play squash to "build up my bone density."

At the end of April, he moved to Victoria so he could continue his cycling training until he began his journey on June 30.

Bruckner said he's a very experienced cyclist, but this ride was his first ultra-endurance event. He had a team to help him gather the evidence he needed to submit his time for a world record.

On day 13, he said he felt like he wouldn't break it, and on top of that his phone had died from rain that had drenched him.

"The ride started well the first six or seven days, but once I entered Ontario on day seven, it really became a struggle to hit the miles," said Bruckner.

"The race became so tight at the end because I just had no gas left in the tank ... The last day we had to pull an all-nighter just to get there."

Bruckner said he made it to Halifax city hall on July 13.

He said he's still recovering from the race, but doesn't think there is any permanent damage. 

Fundraising for mental illness awareness

Bruckner wasn't just racing for the record — he was also raising funds for the Canadian Mental Health Association, an organization that hits him close to home.

"As a first responder, I've dealt with my fair share of mental-health concerns," he said. "I've seen my fair share of traumatic incidents and I just want to raise funds and awareness to that cause because I believe that mental health is an illness that is still highly stigmatized."

Bruckner's fellow Inuvik volunteer firefighters recently had a car wash to help with the cause. They raised about $2,500, bringing his total up to about $5,000.

Brucker has officially submitted his total ride time to the Guinness World Records. He said it will take about three months for his application to be processed.

Bruckner is now resting in Victoria but will be back in Inuvik in September.

Bruckner (second from right) with his team members Tyler Pilling, Peter Bruckner, Sheila Bruckner and Justin Attfield at the finish line at Halifax city hall. (Submitted by Chris Bruckner)

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