© Submitted photo
Warren Spires takes a break at the West Point lighthouse during his bicycle tour of Prince Edward Island this past September. The Nova Scotia man is currently on a Tour de Cuba solo ride to raise funds for CNIB programs.
Nova Scotia cyclist Warren Spires says touring P.E.I. prepared him for Tour de Cuba solo ride in support of CNIB programs
A Nova Scotia man is on a fundraising bicycle tour of Cuba, and he’s relying on training he received on Prince Edward Island to do it.
Warren Spires, a resident of St. Margaret’s Bay, N.S., completed a six-day 720 km solo perimeter ride around Canada’s smallest province, this past September.
“I cycled P.E.I. to make sure that my back was fit for Cuba. Six days in a row of 120 km average rides made for a good test and I had no issues,” says Spires, who recently recovered from a herniated disc in his lower back.
Not only was the ride pain-free, it was uplifting.
“P.E.I. is quite possibly the most beautiful and ideal cycle touring paradise in the whole world.
“What a tremendous way to spend a week experiencing the whole island. I’ll be doing it again, hopefully next summer and many more times,” says Spires.
His confidence-building exercise urged him on to his current challenge in Cuba where Spires, CNIB’s director of philanthropy for Atlantic Canada, is currently on a 1,500-plus km solo bicycle ride to raise funds for CNIB Atlantic. Starting in Baracoa (Cuba’s Eastern tip), it will continue along Cuba’s mountainous southern coast and then head westward to Havana for a total ride of just over 1,500 km. Spires is expected to return home on Jan. 17.
“I’ve travelled the world a fair bit but have never been to Cuba. I’ve often thought ... the day that I visit Cuba, I will spend my time with Cubans, as opposed to fellow tourists.”
He also plans to support Cubans directly by staying in private homes, as opposed to resort hotels, joining them at their dinner tables each night.
“I will also make my way across their island on bicycle, the way many Cubans transport themselves.”
In an attempt to add meaning and achieve greater good through his personal tour of Cuba, Spires is trying to raise much-needed funds for CNIB’s essential vision rehabilitation services in support of individuals who are blind or partially sighted.
“I turned 50 earlier this year and decided to celebrate the milestone birthday by setting a sporty and cultural personal challenge.”
AT A GLANCE
If you want to help
For more information on Warren Spires’ Tour de Cuba or to make a donation, go to the fundraising website, http://bit.ly/1kKpkIK.
Cheques (made out to CNIB) can be sent to Warren Spires’ attention at CNIB, 6136 Almon St., Halifax, N.S., B3K 1T8.
All costs related to Spires’ ride will be covered by him personally so 100 per cent of funds raised will go to the CNIB. They will be directed to support CNIB programs and services in each donor’s home province.