54-year-old bicyclist breaks world recordBy Sheldon C. Good Mennonite Weekly Review
A 54-year-old Mennonite Brethren man from Winnipeg, Man., recently broke the Guinness World Record for the fastest bicycle trip across mainland Canada.
Arvid Loewen, who attends North Kildonan Mennonite Brethren Church in Winnipeg, started pedaling in Vancouver, B.C., on July 1. He finished his 3,700-mile excursion 13 days, six hours and 13 minutes later in Halifax, N.S., about three hours faster than the previous record.
He made the journey to promote Mully Children’s Family, a Kenya-based Christian nonprofit that operates a rescue mission for street children.
“They rescue, feed and educate these children, share the Word of God with them and equip them with life skills so they can go back into the communities they came from,” Loewen said. “Attempting to break a world record was simply a platform” to promote this work.
Loewen’s ride raised more than $425,000 for the nonprofit. Over the past six years, he’s completed five bicycling fundraisers for Mully Children’s Family.
In 2005, he cycled 4,300 miles in 30 days, transporting three teenagers from Kenya on the back of a modified tandem bicycle.
As inspiration during this year’s trip, Loewen carried a photo of Lillian, a girl who was rescued by the Kenyan nonprofit.
It “kept me going at two o’clock at night, when I had no rational thought for what I was doing,” he said.
Loewen averaged two hours of sleep a night and often rode for 20 hours a day. Two support vehicles traveled with him for most of the trip, including an RV, his sleeping quarters.
About 125 miles west of Ottawa, he developed fluid in one leg and had to stop for 18 hours, putting him five hours off his record-breaking pace. He made that up in a 40-hour period.
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