Intrepid Ferris cranks through BC

Ramesh Ferris checked in with the News yesterday, two weeks into his Cycle to Walk campaign for polio education and eradication.

Ramesh Ferris checked in with the News yesterday, two weeks into his Cycle to Walk campaign for polio education and eradication.

He arrived in Kamloops on Tuesday, two days ahead of schedule.

“It’s going great, we had a lot of Yukoners supporting us at the start — Larry Bagnell, Geraldine Van Bibber, my entire family and lots of friends,” said Ferris.

Since leaving Victoria on April 12, Ferris has faced all kinds of weather on the winding mountain roads.

“Sleet, rain, snow and serious headwinds,” he said, describing the conditions. “But we’re also getting lots of honks and cheers from passing cars.”

Endorsements from Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan and BC Premier Gordon Campbell gave Ferris and his team a boost.

“A young guy from Kamloops heard we were coming in, and came out to meet us and give us a large bag of change,” he added. “That’s a great feeling.”

After three days of rest, restocking and spreading the word about polio eradication to Kamloops residents, the Cycle to Walk campaign team will head for Edmonton.

With 460 kilometres behind them, and more than 6,700 to go, Ferris and his support crew are operating like a well-oiled machine.

“Everyone knows their role … I know mine, it’s to ride the cycle,” he said. “I still have lots of juice, I feel confident and strong — I’m doing more days in a row than I thought I could.”

He’s not in a hurry though, and taking time to spread his message is as much a part of the campaign as the handcycling.

The planned finish at Cape Spear, Newfoundland, is six months away.

“I’m not in a race — except for the race to get rid of polio,” he said. “That’s what keeps me going.”

Follow Ferris’ campaign at his website, www.cycletowalk.com — which is now equipped to take online donations as well.

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