EDMONTON – Alex Webb has a long bike ride ahead of him: 1,760 kilometres, to be exact.
At just 13, Webb is the youngest rider – by a long shot – from a group of 30 that will make the 16-day journey from Masset, B.C. to Edmonton.
He’s also the team’s top fundraiser, with almost $29,000 in the bucket for the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation.
“I thought $25,000 was going to be hard to reach; it feels pretty good to beat it,” said Webb, who has been cycling 50 to 60 kilometres a day in preparation.
The Haida Gwaii Totem Tour is raising money to bring a three-meter high totem pole to the Stollery.
“Totem poles are meant to tell inspirational stories,” said Ryan Drury, a development officer.
“This tour hopes to bring that inspiration to those entering the hospital.”
The tour will also support aboriginal patients, especially those from outside Edmonton, who make up about 25 per cent of the Stollery’s patient population.
The hospital wants to ensure staff “not only have medical expertise but cultural expertise,” said Drury. “To have someone act as a navigator, a confidant, and a friend is very important.”
Webb and the other riders will average 100 to 170 kilometres a day on the tour, which begins June 16.
“I’m pretty confident to ride this far,” said Webb, who’s also a youth ambassador for the hospital. “I have a great group riding with me so I think that will make it a lot easier.”
A public homecoming for the tour will be held at The Works festival in Churchill Square at 2 p.m. on Canada Day.
To donate to Webb or any of the other participants, click here.
© Shaw Media, 2014