Rotarian Michael Maloney introduced Rotarian Nick Foley who is 5000 kms into his bike ride across Canada Tour the Ride for Inclusion.  Mike introduced Nick with very little fanfare to allow Nick's story to speak for itself.  Nick advised that today when he had reached the Travelodge for our Rotary meeting, he had logged 5,001 km.  Nick started by thanking Darren Moore his constant companion on his trip across Canada as his vehicle driver.  Nick presented the first part of his Canadian trip highlighting moments in visual form of some of the special moments he had experienced through Western Canada into Ontario.  Nick's motto for the trip is to Win the Day, meaning each day achieving the KM goal he had established for the day.  This has not always been an easy task as Nick has had to ride through snow, rain 25 of the first 30 days of his odysey and at times deal with winds measuring up to 85km, not from the tail as you might expect cycling from west to east across Canada, but from the front or the side.  Nick took his first selfie, while struggling through the Rockies on a specifically challenging and hard incline and realized the importance of winning each day and remembering the Why.  The Why for Nick is his daughter Brin and each time he is feeling challenged in his ride, he remembers his Why with the belief that if your Why is Big Enough, the How will show up to  facilitate success.
Nick has been asked many times as he has moved west to east across Canada, what is the favourite part of the country, thinking the response would be a a favourite place, and without hesitation Nick explained that is favourite part of the country is the people.  Nick elaborated on the support he has received from people across Canada, from the young 8 or 9 year old boy who approached him after one of his presentations asking who he was raising funds for and he replied charities, and the young boy gave him the $1.40 in his pocket and thanked Nick for allowing children like him to feel included.  The driver on the highway near Thunder Bay who asked what he was raising funds for and gave him $20 and did not want his name publicized simply for making his day and the Rotary Club of Hunstville where after his presentation, one Rotarian stood up to announce that the club was going to contribute $500 to Nick's ride, which was news to the President of the Club but was completed supported by the somewhat surprised club president.
Nick advised of the event today being held at Chapters from 2-5 pm where 10% of book sale proceeds will be donated to Nick's Ride for Inclusion and subsequent gatherings are planned for Chapters branches in Kingston, Ottawa and eastward as well as communities that he has already passed through.  Tonight there will also be gathering and invited Rotarians to attend for time together.  Nick provided stats of his trip which included 5001km, 2.3 million rotations of his tires, and 13. billion joules of energy he has expended so far which is enough power to run a 100 watt light bulb for 4 years.  He has consumed 315,000 calories or 5500 a day and has lost 2 lbs.
Nick advised that he has truly been looking forward to this day and his presentation to our Rotary club as he has become a different person, more engaged since joining our Rotary Club 3 years ago.
He talked about terrifying moments along his journey and there are obviously scary moments every day on a bike ride across Canada, but the most terrifying moment for him was the few minutes leading up to his visit with his daughter Brin and the first time he had seen her in over 40 days in Cobourg and would she recognize him, as they had only communicated via face time during this period.  She came to him with open arms and the picture Nick showed him holding Brin and her smile and big thumbs up indicated absolutely no fear that Brin had forgotten her dad.
Nick answered questions about the highest incline - it was 3000 metres in Rogers Pass and how he would celebrate his achievement and advised his brother in law was going to bike with him the last 900 kms through Newfoundland and a bunch of friends were flying down to St John's for a celebration on the 25th of July.  Nick will then conclude his trip with a wrap up in September to recount his entire journey.  Nick thanked Nesda Technologies and Rotarian Michael Summers for his technology support by providing a route tracker which has been very important to Nick's mom knowing where he is all the time, even if he cannot call at that moment.
Nick received a well deserved standing ovation and was thanked by Rotarian Sharon McConnell for his inspirational story and his courage for undertaking such a challenge.  Sharon thanked club members and committees in the club for providing $3,000 to cover some of Nick's costs for the trip.  Rotarian donations will go to the Amarok society for our international literacy program.
Truly an inspirational message and story.  Nick, we are very proud to have you as a member of the Rotary Club of Belleville.