Nova Scotia

B.C. man, 69, trikes to Halifax reunion with sisters

There was an unusual family reunion in Halifax Thursday, one that took place after three decades of separation and a 7,000-kilometre trike ride.
Cecil MacDonald, 69, of British Columbia, was reunited with his sisters - Katherine Dorman, on the left, and Gwen Murphy - after riding a tricycle to Halifax. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

There was an unusual family reunion in Halifax Thursday, one that took place after three decades of separation and a 7,000-kilometre trike ride.  

A few months ago, Cecil MacDonald, of British Columbia, decided it was time to visit his sisters in Halifax.  After all, he hadn't seen them in more than 30 years.

So, in April, MacDonald — who is 69 years old — hopped on his trusty trike and started pedalling.

"The highlight of my journey has been the generosity of a lot of people that stopped and talked to me. They're curious," MacDonald said. "There were a lot of challenges as well and I live for challenges."

Fully packed, the trike weighs 250 pounds. MacDonald only weighs 125 pounds, but he was determined not to give up. He had strong motivation.

"I thought maybe I'd get home before I died, or before they died," he said.

Cecil MacDonald pushes his tricyle up a hill on the Bedford Highway. ((CBC))

After a long ride down the Bedford Highway, he had one last hill to climb.

"I didn't think I would ever come to the end of the trip. But it hasn't been all that bad all the way across. I pushed it over hills steeper than this," MacDonald said.

Finally he saw his sisters, Katherine Dorman and Gwen Murphy, who were overwhelmed by the reunion.

"I don't know how I feel. Ask me again in a week's time when I'm ready to kick him out because he's driven me crazy," Dorman said.

 "I'm like my sister," Murphy said. "I don't know, but I'm very happy to have him home."

MacDonald said it was "wonderful" to see his sisters in the flesh.

"I'd seen them in pictures, but not in real life," he said.

MacDonald said he's glad his long ride is over.

"The first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to go to sleep and sleep for a week. Or else take a walk and get my legs back into walking condition," he said.

After a rest and a visit, MacDonald will switch to a mountain bike and ride around the Cabot Trail.