Spirit Ride 2016 aims to raise money for aboriginal fitness

Don Patterson is cycling the Dempster Highway on his way from the northernmost to the southernmost part of Canada to raise money for aboriginal fitness programs.

Don Patterson, 61, is using his bike to raise money for aboriginal fitness programs

Don Patterson, 61, is riding the Dempster Highway on the first part of a 7,000-kilometre journey that will take him from Inuvik to the southernmost part of Canada. (

If you're driving on the Dempster Highway, watch out for a cyclist and his support crew.

Don Patterson, right, poses with his nephew, Rob MacInnis, who's joining him for the ride. (
Don Patterson is riding from Inuvik, N.W.T., to Point Pelee, Ont., the southernmost point of the country — a distance of 7,000 kilometres — in order to raise money for aboriginal fitness programs across Canada.

"I came up with this idea because I wanted to increase awareness for the importance of physical activity for our aboriginal youth," Patterson told our CBC reporter in Inuvik. "This way I can pass through many aboriginal communities starting in Inuvik where you have both first nations and Inuvialuit population."

Patterson, 61, has raised $5,000 so far.

The route goes from the northernmost to the southernmost point in Canada. (
Some of that money will be used for a youth fitness position in the N.W.T.'s Beaufort Delta region, based in Inuvik.

He's also working with Olympic skier Sharon Firth to get ski equipment donated to Fort McPherson and Inuvik schools.

Donations are being accepted on his website.



To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.