A Canadian man has begun a 20,000km bicycle journey that will take him from the Arctic to the Antarctic.
62-year-old Henry Lacroix pedalled out of Inuvik, in the Northwest Territories earlier today.
It will take him about seven months to complete the bike ride to Ushuaia on the southern tip of Argentina, a distance of about 20,000km.
“At this point, getting on the bike and actually starting down the road will be a tension reliever”, he said.
Lacroix self-financed the trip as a way to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s research, a cause of special significance for him.
Six years ago, his sister-in-law Janet was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
A successful lawyer and mother at the time, she is no longer practicing law.
“Alzheimer’s is a devastating condition... not only for the individual themselves but for everyone around them”, he said.
“As the disease goes on, your horizons shrink: your ability to anticipate, to look ahead, to remember what you did, to have goals, to incrementally plan your life every day.
“That’s what you have to do on an expedition of this nature: anticipate, think, enjoy things, look beyond the Richardson mountains, as beautiful as they are, while you’re climbing them, so it’s a stark contrast and something I hope to keep in mind.”
Right now, about 500,000 people in Canada suffer from Alzheimer’s.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society Toronto, that number is expected to double in the next generation.
Lacroix wants people to donate to help fund research at the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada’s website.