Tour du Canada Bursary Recipients – In their Own Words

The following are excerpts from letters received from recipients of Tour du Canada Bursaries.

"Tour du Canada 2012 – this summer was great. Being on a trip of this scale was great. The people I met and got to know were the best. The summer now that it over seems like wasn't about the biking at all, but about the people I biked with. Learning how to be with 30 dynamic and interesting people in close quarters for two months was definitely a very nice experience. I made lots of friends. The memories that I have from the trip will be with me forever. This was all possible because of the bursary I received. I would not change one thing in my summer. I had a really fantastic time."

"The opportunity to travel across Canada and experience its awe is something practically any Canadian would love to do. Getting this opportunity amid student loans and financial troubles, the bursary was a great help. It made possible the vision I harnessed since I first read in 2010. One important thing that I realized is that cycling Canada across its breadth is a daunting task and even the seasoned cyclist would reconsider. However, when planned properly in small chunks, any task can be accomplished. I am glad that the organizers are as passionate about organizing the trip and I am very happy the affordability of the trip. "

Please support the Bursary Fund by making a contribution. All funds donated are passed on directly to the successful applicants. No administration fee is taken and your donations are more than matched by Cycle Canada. Please visit the secure on-line Donation page here: Bursary Donation.

"This tour had always been a dream for me, which I prepared for 5 years in my head, physically, and finally on paper. It meant a lot for me and I am very cheerful that you allowed me to live it. Thank you from all my heart."

" All this time I had been writing weekly e-mails of my journey to my mother, who would forward them onto family friends and relatives. She told me how much people, particularly my grandparents, loved reading about my adventures each week. She would print my e-mails off the computer for my Grandmother (who has a hard time standing up out of a chair) to read. My Grandmother would just snatch them right out of her hands at the first opportunity. I began to realize that some people were enjoying my journey as much as I was, and maybe some days more. I needed to keep riding so that others at home, like my Grandmother who cannot ride a bike herself, could experience an adventure too.

At this time when experts are saying that young people are not graduating university with critical thinking skills, and that a university education will not land you a great job these days, I can think of no better way to remind myself I can reach my goals in life than by thinking of my bike ride across Canada. Thank you to all those who made this trip possible for me, from the trip organizer, to the staff, the bursary donors, my fellow riders, my family, my friends and finally all those across Canada who welcomed us into their communities (and while I'm at it I'd also like to thank my bike and my legs). I am so appreciative. "

" This trip means friends all around the country and the world. This also becomes a benchmark for any physical or other types of challenges I face in day to day life and on the bike. I often find myself comparing every hill to North Mountain, so this is easy! An accomplishment this grand is something we are lucky to have, it will make us tackle our lives in a different way. "

" Now that the trip is over and that I have been back home in a 'normal' life for a month, I can say without a doubt that Tour du Canada 2012 was a trip worth doing. It's true that the feeling of accomplishment is nice when you reach the end of the road, or when you tell someone that you did 7800 km on your bike during the summer, but it would be completely worthless without all the memories associated with the countless beautiful places that I discovered in Canada and those associated with the wonderful people that made my family for a summer. "

"Tour du Canada 2011: I biked across Canada with an organization called Tour du Canada. There were 38 riders including myself of all ages and body shapes. Our youngest was a 19 year chap from the UK (who broke his arm in Quebec and still finished the trip in a cast); and our oldest was a 68 year old man from France with a pacemaker. "

"What the trip meant to me: It was a wonderful way to see the Country. I liked the idea of stop-and-go and seeing Canada in slow-motion. I liked the challenges of biking in all elements and terrain. The trip was a great way to meet a ton of different people from all walks of life. It was especially cool to meet the Australians. I'm very proud to live in Canada and this trip was something I have wanted to do for years. It was a monumental feat and an epic journey. That is what it meant to me."

"Participating in Tour du Canada this summer has probably been the greatest adventure of my life so far . . . I had originally planned on attempting to cycle across the country unsupported and alone. Instead, I decided to join Tour du Canada and couldn't have been happier with this decision. The Tour was well-organized, affordable, and allowed me to get to know thirty-seven amazing individuals. Some of us had very little in common other than a desire to explore Canada by bicycle, but by the end of the Tour, our group felt much like a family. I have become close friends with several riders who I would have never known outside of this experience. . . . Cycling across the country with Tour du Canada was the perfect way to spend my last true summer as a student. . . . Thank you for an incredible adventure!"

"Tour du Canada 2011 was such an incredible journey for me. It had been a dream of mine to cross the country on a bike for many years, but I never thought I had it in myself to actually pursue this goal. I decided change that when I signed up for the trip about a year ago. I started the trip without knowing what to expect, but rather with a very vague idea of what it might be like. I was excited to see the country, and the idea of crossing this immense land mass on a bike posed to be a challenge of a life time. . . . The trip definitely has re-shaped my perspectives, life goals, and my passion for cycling! It was such an amazing experience and I would do it all over again even if I get bitten by mosquitoes continuously and sometimes have to ride in the rain. I overcame the challenges, my own doubts, and I made it across the country! Memories, lessons, and friends I gained on this journey will stay with me for the rest of my life. I feel privileged to have had this opportunity to see Canada on a bike and to meet the people I did along the way. "

If you are a young person (or know of a young person) still at school or recently graduated and wish to participate in Tour du Canada and wish to apply for a Bursary please visit the Application page here: Bursary Application.

"What the trip meant to me: Tour du Canada was a surreal experience and an opportunity of a lifetime. . . . My motivation came from specific riders who were in their late sixty`s and early seventy`s. If they could do it, why can`t a young guy like myself. I came to the realization that I could do anything if I put my mind to it. All I needed was a little push. "

"Gaining this new mentality gave me confidence and a more positive outlook on life. I felt stronger, I lost weight, and I was eating healthy. This trip provided me with an opportunity to create a new beginning. It was an education in healthy living. "

"Tour du Canada also allowed me time to think about my future and put my life in perspective. I had just completed my bachelor's degree in university and was not quite ready to jump into a career. I wanted to travel and thought it was important to explore my own country before venturing abroad. I felt I needed a break from the stress and pressure I have become so used to. I learned that I might not have tomorrow; therefore I need to make the best of today.
I would really like to thank the TdC 2011 riders for their generosity and wisdom; it was certainly a pleasure to get to know everyone. Our drivers who went above and beyond their call of duty. I would like to thank my family and friends for their continued support throughout the trip. There is much appreciation for all of the small town communities who were kind enough to provide potluck dinners for a bunch of hungry cyclists. Thank you to the families of riders who provided lunch and treats throughout the whole campaign, it was definitely a wonderful surprise. . . . Finally a special thanks to all those who contributed to the Tour du Canada Bursary; if it wasn`t for your generous donation I may not have been able to have the time of my life. Thank you! "

"What the Future Holds: I have been invited to speak to grade 1 and 2 students at a local elementary school about perseverance. I believe it is important to educate the youth about staying active and working hard to achieve your goals and I have the opportunity to do just that."

"I never knew I would be able to inspire so many individuals. Friends and family have taken up running and ran a 10km and even a half marathon. People see that me, such an ordinary kid with no super powers (some still question it though) was able to cycle across the country with pure determination and hard work. I have made people stop and reflect to question what they are capable of doing. "

"I will definitely continue to train, the most frequent question I get asked after I tell people about my trip is So what's your next goal? and to answer that I tell them I would like to participate in a triathlon but first need to learn how to swim. Any goal seems small after what I did this summer; to think I didn't even know what clip on pedals were just a year before cycling across the country still blows my mind. "

If you wish to make a donation to the Bursary Fund, please visit the secure on-line Donation page here: Bursary Donation.

If you are a young person still at school or recently graduated and wish to participate in Tour du Canada and wish to apply for a Bursary please visit the Application page here: Bursary Application.

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