Walter and Regula Reich, centre, joined, from left, Tofino’s Manager April Froment, Crystal Cove Beach Resort’s Holger Konarski and JJ Belanger, Tofino’s CAO Bob MacPherson and Fire Chief Brent Baker on MacKenzie Beach Friday at 9 a.m.. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

Walter and Regula Reich, centre, joined, from left, Tofino’s Manager April Froment, Crystal Cove Beach Resort’s Holger Konarski and JJ Belanger, Tofino’s CAO Bob MacPherson and Fire Chief Brent Baker on MacKenzie Beach Friday at 9 a.m.. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

Senior begins Canada-wide bike ride in Tofino

Walter Reich dipped his bike’s back tire into the Pacific Ocean before launching ride for Parkinson’s

Walter Reich dipped his bike’s back tire into the Pacific Ocean off Tofino’s MacKenzie Beach Friday morning before setting off on a country-wide ride to raise funds for Parkinson’s Disease.

Reich, 70, and his wife Regula recently retired after selling their Quiet Bay Log Motel and Cafe in Magnetawan, Ontario, and the couple is excited to fulfill their lifelong dream of seeing the country.

“I want to see the country and not by a car. You see more by bicycle than by the car,” Reich told the Westerly News. “It’s a stress relief and it’s a passion too. I always bicycle. When I was in Ontario, I’d always go on the same road and I’m getting tired of that.”

Regula will be travelling in an RV alongside Walter and the pair have dedicated their experience to raising funds and awareness for people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease as well as the medical professionals who care for them.

“They want to connect with people dealing with Parkinson’s Disease and hear their stories, as they are biking across Canada for them,” reads a GoFundMe page they’ve set up at www.gofundme.com/walter-and-giant. “We can all make a difference in someone’s life!”

“I want to bring awareness to that so that people can get some more information and some help,” Reich told the Westerly.

He said he cycled roughly 6,000 kilometres while working full-time last year and he’s confident he’ll be able to complete the country-wide ride

“I don’t want to speed. I’ll just take the time to go,” he said noting he’ll likely enjoy “the downhills more than uphills.”

Along with raising funds and awareness for Parkinson’s Disease, Reich also hopes his ride inspires others to get active.

“I’m at the age of 70, so this gives some encouragement to the younger guys to get their buts off the couch and get onto a bicycle,” he said. “You just have to put your mind to it, get out and do some exercise.”

As they set off from MacKenzie Beach, Walter and Regula were cheered on by the District of Tofino’s Chief Administrative Officer Bob MacPherson, Manager of Public Spaces, Cultural and Visitor Initiatives April Froment, Fire Chief Brent Baker and Crystal Cove Beach Resort’s Holgar Konarski and JJ Belanger.

“When Walter and his wife Regula contacted the District about his planned cycling trip across Canada to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson’s disease we were so pleased that he wanted to kick off his journey on the beach in Tofino,” Froment told the Westerly News. “Parkinson’s disease has touched the lives of many people in our community and we were happy to do what we could to make the start of his journey a success.”

READ MORE: VIDEO: Ucluelet kayak guides circumnavigate Vancouver Island

READ MORE: Ucluelet local to run across Vancouver Island to fight trophy hunting in Great Bear Rainforest

READ MORE: VIDEO: Tour de Rock riders party through power outage in Tofino



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

A forest of dance-protesters outside the BC Legislature on April 11. These participants were doing the Dance for the Ancient Forest in support of the Fairy Creek blockade and against old-growth logging. (Zoë Ducklow/News Staff)
Arrests begin at Fairy Creek blockade on Vancouver Island

Five protesters arrested as RCMP begin to enforce injunction

Ryan Cootes, Erin Bremner-Mitchell, Bill Collins and Mike Williamson of Cascadia Seaweed Corporation are here seen holding up seaweed grown in Barkley Sound in July 2020. The Sidney-based company has organized the inaugural Seaweed Days Festival running May 17 to May 23. (Cascadia Seaweed Corporation/Submitted)
Let’s hear it for seaweed: slimy, unsexy and the world’s greatest untapped food source

Experts talks emerging industry’s challenges and potential at Sidney inaugural Seawood Days Festival

A crew of WestCoast WILD Adventures employees tackled an onslaught of litter left at the ‘Locks of Love’ fence at Wally Creek on May 2. (Anne-Marie Gosselin photo)
Litter woes continue at ‘Locks of Love’ fence near Tofino-Ucluelet

Popular Highway 4 spot continues to be consumed by disrespect

Brenda and Steve Smith with a photo of Derek Descoteau. It’s been five years since Derek was murdered in Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Friends provide continuing comfort for family in wake of unresolved Chemainus murder

Case remains before the courts five years after Derek Descoteau’s abrupt stabbing death in Chemainus

Saanich police are asking for the public’s help locating missing woman Christina Olsen, 41, who was last seen on May 15 in the 4500-block of Blenkinsop Road. (Photo via the Saanich Police Department)
MISSING: Police seek woman last seen at Saanich mental health facility

Christina Olsen, 41, left Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility on May 15

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

A thunderstorm pictured in Fraser Valley in 2021. (Black Press Media/Jaimie Grafstrom)
Wildfire concerns sparked after 320+ lightning strikes blasted B.C. yesterday

Approximately one-quarter of the province is currently listed as being at moderate risk of fire

A restaurant server on White Rock’s Marine Drive serves customers on a roadside patio. Indoor dining and recreational travel bans have been in effect since late March in B.C. (Peace Arch News)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate falls to 411 cases Tuesday

360 people in hospital, up slightly, two more deaths

The Banff National Park entrance is shown in Banff, Alta., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Minister asks Canadians to camp carefully in national parks as season starts

Kitchen shelters in Banff National Park closed, trails on Vancouver Island will only be one-way

Names of those aboard the ship are seen at Komagata Maru monument in downtown Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The City of Vancouver has issued an apology for its racist role in denying entry to 376 passengers aboard a ship that was forced to return to India over a century ago. Mayor Kennedy Stewart says discrimination by the city had “cruel effects” on the Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims aboard the Komagata Maru, which arrived in Burrard Inlet on May 23, 1914. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says sorry for city’s role in turning away South Asians in 1914

Kennedy Stewart has declared May 23 as the annual Komagata Maru Day of Remembrance

Announced Tuesday, May 18 by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, the province added gyms, dance and fitness studios to its list of places where face coverings are mandatory. (AP/Steven Senne)
Masks now required at all times inside B.C. gyms, including during workouts

Those who disobey could be subject to a $230 fine

Over the years, police have worked with sketch artists to draw what the boys could have looked like at the times of their deaths. (Vancouver Police Department)
DNA breakthrough expected in cold case involving murdered Vancouver boys, 7 and 8

Forensic analysts are working to identify relatives of the children, whose bodies were found in Stanley Park in 1953

Livestock competitions have been part of the Pacific National Exhibiton for more than a century. (Maple Ridge News files)
B.C. provides $50 million to keep major tourist attractions going

Tour bus companies also eligible for latest COVID-19 aid

Fire investigators employ an aerial ladder truck to do an overhead inspection of fire damage to the Family Practice Clinic that was destroyed by a blaze on the weekend. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Fire destroys Nanaimo medical clinic, doctors will try to keep helping patients

Investigators trying to determine cause of blaze at building on 104th Street

Most Read