Part-time Whistler local and firefighter captain, Rudy Pospisil is in the middle of the bike ride of his life, attempting to circumnavigate the length of the globe on his bicycle. Having already cycled 12,000 km, measuring almost halfway around the equator, Pospisil is raising money and awareness for breast, prostate and lung cancer.
A cancer survivor himself, Pospisil is biking the staggering distance in sections at a time in order to make the mileage manageable. Starting in 2009, he cycled through Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. To raise awareness for his European tour, he wrote to local fire departments and explained his cause which inspired Prague, Passau, Vienna and Budapest to launch their own fundraisers.
“If you set your mind to something, anything is possible,” said Pospisil. “Ten years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer and the doctor told me to get my affairs in order because the outlook may not be good, I was shattered. But I exercised, rode my bike and was determined to beat cancer. I was inspired by a phone call with Jimmy Pattison, wishing me luck and telling me I would be OK. If you give up, lose hope and give in to a cancer diagnosis then your body will likely not fight as hard as it would if you had a positive attitude.”
From the day Pattison made a contribution and encouraged him to continue fundraising, Pospisil started making plans to bike around the world and raise as much money and awareness as he could.
So far his journey has taken him through nine countries, he has climbed a total elevation of 40,000 meters on his bike and had nine flat tires on his “flatproof” tires. Just a week ago, he completed the U.S. portion of his trip, riding from California to Florida.
Being a firefighter, Pospisil has received an outpouring of support from fellow firefighters, including those in San Francisco.
“While I was cycling from Vancouver to Mexico last year, I arrived at the Golden Gate Bridge. The San Francisco Police and Firefighters had a full police escort for me over the bridge and through the city. As we cycled through the streets, motorcycle police stopped all traffic at the intersections. The fellow police cycling with me yelled to the crowds, ‘The president of Canada folks.’ Everyone cheered! I didn’t know we had a president, I guess neither did they. I’m just glad that nobody shot me,” smirked Pospisil.
The next leg of Pospisil’s journey will take him to Australia in 2013. He hopes to finish off the rest of the mileage within the next two years with a final trek through India and China.
“I look forward to the possible prevailing tailwinds in Australia,” said Pospisil. “But I’m more excited about meeting the Australian Prime Minister. She wrote me a nice letter welcoming me to come. I’m also keen on finding out how all the Australians I see in Whistler became such good skiers and beer drinkers.”
No stranger to Whistler, Pospisil owns a home here and plans on training in Whistler part-time over the winter. Despite the cooler months, he can be spotted biking from Vancouver to Whistler or through the Callaghan Valley.
Raising money and encouraging others to do the same, is just one part of Pospisil’s greater plan. He has compiled hundreds of hours of video footage from his trips and is planning on putting together a documentary film to be entered into the Whistler Film Festival next year.
Visit www.thirty4three.com for further information about Pospisil and his journey or to contribute to his cause.