Cyclist rides through barriers82-year-old man bikes from Arctic Circle to complete epic challenge
Northern News Services
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Dan Maguire has been cycling a long time.
Dan Macguire has pedalled his way to the four extremities of Canada over several years, finally ending his quest in Inuvik last Friday. - photo courtesy of Diana Pazdera
Having pedalled his way to the points furthest east, west, and south in Canada, after several attempts, he has completed his self-imposed quest and finished the Northern leg of his goal. Starting at the Arctic Circle Aug. 5, he hit Inuvik and where the roads ends Aug. 14.
"I wanted to bike across Canada," he told the Drum. "I thought I'd start with going west to east and it went from there."
This was not the first attempt at the Northern leg. The previous attempts having been thwarted by inclement weather and poor road conditions. This time, however, the weather held and Maguire was able to finish.
"We've seen washed out roads on the Dempster, it's been really cold, and really windy," he said, adding that the wind this time had been fierce as well.
Beyond being an octogenarian, Maguire suffers from Parkinson's, osteoarthritis, and scoliosis, making his trip that much more meaningful.
"He's 82, he has Parkinson's and he wants to show people with Parkinson's that they can still do stuff," said Diana Pazdera who, along with Peter Pazdera, has accompanied Maguire for this last 300-km journey.
"I'm actually Dan's bike mechanic," said Peter, explaining that he volunteered to help Maguire with the third Northern trip after having heard about the two previous attempts. "Dan's been touring the world for years. I heard about this in 2013 and said if he needed someone to help out, we could."
Maguire pedals an average of about eight hours a day and the distance largely depends on the weather as well as the terrain.
Diana said there was one day he had only gone 20 km but that the wind had been bitter cold and that there had been frost on the ground following a blizzard. Thursday, the day before Maguire made it into Inuvik and accomplished his goal, he put in 10 hours and travelled 77 km.
In all, Diana said the trip was supposed to take 10 days, including driving up from British Columbia. In the end, it took three times as long, but was all worth it.
"It's just really inspiring," she said.
"It's not everybody at 82, with Parkinson's, who can do this and it's really inspiring to others."