Paul Chetwynd - BCBR for Tsunami Relief

Jun 13, 2011 at 0:03
Jun 13, 2011
by Johnny Smoke  
 
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Now imagine that all you see is this:

Tsunami Damage

Take that scene, and place it on both sides of a highway that runs from Vancouver to Toronto, or London to Rome, or New York to L.A. That's Japan...right now. It's easy to shelve away the disaster for us in the West. After all, it's on the other side of the world. However, many of us have friends that are from there, or have lived there, or live there right now.

Tsunami Damage

One of my neighbors raced DH over there for many years. Another friend is over there now racing and teaching bike clinics. I've had groups of Japanese over here riding. And one friend in particular has made Japan his home for several years, becoming an icon of mountain biking in the process.

Paul "Chizzer" Chetwynd is a Deep Cove original. He was part of the original core of Cove riders back in the early '80s, and raced in North America at the highest levels. If you rode the Shore in the mid to late 90's, you likely had some contact with Paul via the legendary Hilltop Superheat tires. Printed right on the sidewall, beside the red, yellow and green banner, were the words 'Advised by Paul'. Well, this is Paul.

Tsunami Damage

After many successful years racing and running bike tours in Japan, Paul has a family and deep ties to the country. He has seen the carnage and destruction first hand, and when he tries to tell me how it is, the note in his voice takes on a deep sadness which conveys so much more than the "Dude...it's just a mess," that is all the eloquence he can muster. It's overwhelming in scale.

Tsunami Damage

To try to make a difference, Paul has chosen a charity and is coming back to BC to ride in the BC Bike Race to help raise funds for the many thousands of orphans that were created in this unprecedented disaster.

I leave it up to Paul to explain it further:

THE TOHOKU KIDS PROJECT

It’s been two months since Japan was devastated by the Earthquake and the ensuing Tsunami. I as well as most of the world looked on in horror as events unfolded. It would be a lie to tell you all is normal here, slowly the country is recovering, but there has never been a disaster like this in recent human history and it will take time. Just last week we had a series of aftershocks that I felt even here at my house in Chino, Nagano Prefecture about 400 kilometers away from the epicenter. Still now the death toll rises, many are still without shelter; it will take a year just to clear away all the debris before people can think about rebuilding their lives.

Tsunami Damage

Everybody here in Japan has tried to help, some have sent relief goods and others money. I gave some money last week and afterwards the young girl whose box I put the bill into bowed to me and with tears in her eyes started thanking me profusely. I am not worthy of her gratitude, I have lived here for 20 years and have definitely taken more than given. It’s easy when the people you live among are so kind. Now I have to step up and help. Nobody knows how many children suddenly became orphans on that fateful day; the schools did a wonderful job of getting kids out of harm’s way, a lot of their parents didn’t get out. Now we are just starting to realize how bad this situation is- these kids need help now and will need it for quite some time.

Some of you might know me or might know of me; my name is Paul Chetwynd. I got my first MTB in 1980, rode all over the North Shore before a lot of you were born, and haven`t looked back since. I raced on the NORBA Series back in the late 80’s and got offered a pro contract here in Japan. 20 years later I am still here with my wife and 2 small boys. I have met so many great people while riding my bike, both racing and now with my tour groups, now I am appealing to as many of you good folks as I can.

The BC Bike Race has kindly agreed to let me use their race as a publicity vehicle in my quest to raise money. I have chosen to try and help Living Dreams as they are focused on the orphans and have been involved with orphans in Japan since 2001. Being based here in Japan and having the experience of working with the Japanese is something only those of us who have lived here or live here now can grasp the importance of. Please have a look at the above link then follow this link:

Global Giving: Tohoku Kids to make a donation.

Whatever you can afford, it is all appreciated by us here in Japan.

I personally look forward to the BC Bike Race, it will be my second time riding in this event, by far the best race I have ever had the pleasure of competing in, and I have done a few. I look forward to meeting many of my friends along the route, please drop by the camp to say hello or give us a shout out on the course.

Live to Ride, Ride to Live,

-Paul Chetwynd

Tsunami Damage
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12 Comments

  • + 18
 Paul your awesome!
Living in souther Japan in Fukuoka prefecture I feel an obligation to help as much as possible.
You charity fund raiser will be on my top priority.
I will do my best to spread the news here in my area. So, others can pitch in with any support necessary!
We had a charity DH and XC race 2 months ago in this area and the turn out was outstanding.
Its tear jerking watching the news every morning but, the spirt of the everyone is really strong giving my family and I sense of serenity.
Please do you best in BC and we support your diligent offering for the young children 100%
Everyone please look at these pictures!
What you see is a very small fraction of the aftermath here in Japan.
The charity will gain support for those young ones who have become instantly parentless.

Pinkbike ,Thank you for the support with this article.
Paul I have heard of your famous tours with great hamburgers, hahahahahah
Your awesome man!
RideOn!
Thank you very much!
Nicholas
  • + 3
 Nicholas, thanks for the kind words, was wishing I knew you last Feb. when I was in Fukuoka, went for a ride with a shop owner and some of his clients,,, was nothing like the vid you posted,,, next time I will make sure I get in touch,, Paul
  • + 3
 Thank you very much Paul! I actually herd of your venture down here and my friends and said it would have been cool if you made it to our trials. Lots of great riding through out the mountains of Japan. Next time either way we will get in touch! I wish you great luck and positive success with your endeavors in the near future. RidEOn! Nicholas!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Paul,
Fantastic Paul. Inspiring to read.
We had a local DIRT AID day here about two months ago at a local DJ BMX track and it raised just over a million yen however that is just a drop in the ocean of what is needed for just one family to try and resurrect their livelihood right.

I think what you are doing is wonderful and wish I could help out physically as well as financially. I am along way from Chino now (Mie) however used to live near Iida/Komagane and of course get up to Fujimi a few times a year (am there this Saturday and I think Rick McCoy will be there and maybe Karey too). It would be great to hear more about what I may be able to do to help so please feel free to PM me if you think there is anything you need some help with and I will try to do what I can!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I am stationed in Japan 25 miles outside of Tokyo and I have had the privilege to meet and ride with Paul and also be part of "Operation Tomodachi" Operation Tomodachi was the support effort givin by the USA, Australia and other countries to get supplies and man power to the effected area's of this country. Hours after the disaster Yokota Air Base (my home station) went on stand by and became the hub for all incoming relief aid. I am damn proud of being part of it and helping out the great people of our host country! It is amazing to see how close a country can come together and unite after such a devastating blow...( no looting and people trying to take advantage of the situation)

Also Paul is on hell of a rider and if you ever visit Japan book a MTB tour with him! You won't regret it!
Paul it's awsome you are doing this! I will talk to the guys on base and see if we can't come up with some donation's for you!
  • + 2
 Absolutely Mark,
The people of my adopted home here in Japan have a togetherness under pressure that my country of birth (U.K.) should be aspiring to, yet somehow I don't see that happening. While the situation here in Mie was physically quiet at the time, the emotional scars of the events three months ago are still written large on the faces of the people here and there is no let up in the efforts to help those in need.

As Paul says, there is still years worth of work to be done.
  • + 2
 Having grown up in Okinawa Japan on Kadena, I understand Mark and Dave's love for such a great country. My brother and his family are now living in Okinawa teaching in the Dodds schools and have told me of all the great things the Americans that live in Japan have done to help. Keep up the great work and remember that we her in the USA are jealous that you are spending some great time in such a culturally rich country. Best wishes and keep up the great work. Mark, thanks for what you do for our country.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Living in Christchurch I can still only just minutely grasp how bad it really is over there.

I can't imagine what it must be like. Will be contributing tup
[Reply]
  • + 0
 From the looks of things he is loving that bit of single track at the end!
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