Today’s children are our future generation; with all the pressures placed upon students, it has become difficult for them to follow their heart and choose the path that feels right to them. With all the challenges today’s world is facing, it is more important than ever that our children have a clear vision for their future. With help from The Co-operators, I was able to use my unique and fortunate position as a professional mountain biker to relate to these children. It all started with a chance invitation to a local school to talk about my career. I noticed that these students were hanging on my every word, so I decided to put some more energy into creating a higher quality speech.
After a few more classroom talks, I had the opportunity to give a keynote speech to an entire school, so I thought why not combine the speech with my mountain bike show; thus was born my Trials of Life presentation.
With the thumbs up from my bike sponsors, I started scheming towards a Canadian school tour. Following through with such an extensive trip required commitment from a high level sponsor. Right from the start, The Co-operators believed in my cause, and underwrote the entire journey, making it possible for me to give my 50 minute long presentation to 27 different schools; and also to perform at 17 public shows along the way.
The 17,500 km long, carbon neutral tour from coast to coast to coast, seemed to be a magnet for media. With over 30 print articles and close to 20 TV and radio interviews, the coverage was deep. This at the same time gave me the opportunity to spread the word even deeper, and if anything, get people thinking about bikes as a way toward fitness and family fun.
Personally I learned a great deal from this journey; I presented to a variety of ages, income levels, and city sizes; the receptions I received were both inspiring and intriguing. Having to adapt to different situations and circumstances at different venues was always exciting and challenging. Some of the best moments came from chatting and hanging out with the students after the presentation; hearing their direct feedback made it clear that this is a journey I must continue, and I am no doubt motivated to do just that!!