Cyclist scores an ‘A-plus’

Oak Bay teen accomplishes strenuous cross-country test

Adam Beaudoin visits the Terry Fox memorial in Thunder Bay

He started in Tsawwassen on Aug. 6.

Thirty days and more than 4,400 kilometres later, Adam Beaudoin completed his journey, riding his bike onto the campus of Queens University in Kingston, Ont. on Sept. 4.

Word of Beaudoin’s marathon ride had already reached the university and over 100 students and faculty members were there to greet him when he arrived.

Despite the monumental effort required to make it on time, Beaudoin, 18, still had the energy to do a celebratory dance and make a brief speech to the group of supporters.

His arrival marked the culmination of a plan that took shape earlier this summer. After two of his aunts and a close friend were diagnosed with different types of cancer, the Oak Bay teen decided to do something out of the ordinary to raise money for the B.C. Cancer Agency.

To date, he has raised more than $35,000.

Not surprisingly, Beaudoin has undergone some physical changes as a result of his ride. His lower body has become more muscular – he jokingly refers to his bulked-up quadriceps as ‘Lance and Thor’ – and he’s lost much of what little body fat he had before setting out.

But it’s the mental changes which have been the most profound, he said. “I have a whole new appreciation for life. I didn’t think this would happen, but it makes me appreciate things so much more.

“I never foresaw (that) the mental aspect would be so important in getting me up when I had to climb 100 kilometres with nothing left.”

Beaudoin was alone for five days early on in the trip, when he tackled the mountains of southern B.C. But the rest of the time he had his family close by, at times being joined on the road by his father and brother.

“The ride wouldn’t be possible without them,” he told a Kingston television station shortly after arriving. “I’m only half the kid. They’re the other half.”

Beaudoin’s mother, Ann Marcotte, was with him for nearly the entire trip, providing meals and finding a place to sleep each night.

“It’s been great to have the time with him,” she said. “I’m proud of him. It’s just amazing watching him do what he does.”

And now Beaudoin is taking on a challenge of a very different kind: starting his new life as a university student – but one with a truly unique story of how he got there.

editor@oakbaynews.com

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