A Winnipeg grandfather and ultra-marathon cyclist is hoping to break another Guinness World Record beginning on Monday.
Arvid Loewen, at the age of 63, broke a previous record for the longest distance cycled in a month, attaining 11,617.99 km in 30 days last year.
Now he’s going for the record for the fastest time to cycle 10,000 km, which was set by Dutch cyclist Guus Moonen in 22 days, 15 hours, and 34 min.
Loewen told 680 CJOB that the COVID-19 pandemic has made him change his route for the record attempt, but he’s still looking forward to the ride.
“The cold, hard fact is that I will be riding back and forth on Henderson Highway, approximately 16 to 17 times a day, in order to reach about 443-450 km, which is the number I need to reach on a daily basis.
“COVID makes us do all kinds of alternations to our plans, so this is not a plan I had initially … but that will be what I’m doing starting Monday at 5 a.m.
“I only need to beat it by one metre.”
Loewen, who has already raised massive amounts of money for charity — more than $8 million in total — using a fundraising platform built around his cycling endeavours, is doing the ride to support Mully Children’s Family Canada (MCF), an organization that helps vulnerable children in Africa.
Loewen said his experience working with MCF as part of a food distribution effort was such an emotional one that it inspired him to do whatever he could to help.
“Some of these kids that came to this food distribution, they had walked 10 km, and the temperatures were 35 C,” he said.
“I just remember this one little girl. … That little girl had a container, her little sibling on her hip, and her eyes kind of told the story. Her eyes said, ‘Mister, can you please fill my container full so that my pain is quenched, but so I can also take some leftover food to my siblings?’
“Once you’ve stood in an experience like that, you will go to all kinds of ends to do what you are called to do.”
Loewen said what he does is definitely hard, especially at 65 — he’s expecting to get no more than four hours of sleep a night for the next month as he tries to beat the record — but he continues to push forward with the image of kids he can potentially help as a focus.
More information about Loewen’s record-breaking attempt is on his website.