Fastest woman to bike across Canada arrives in Halifax, raises over $30,000 for ovarian cancer
Cyclist Bianca Hayes has claimed the title of the fastest woman to bike across Canada after arriving in a wet and foggy Halifax Sunday evening.
Hayes left Vancouver on June 16 and pedalled 5,900 kilometres over 20 days to raise money for ovarian cancer research -- a cause near and dear to her heart after her sister, Katrina, died of the disease in 2018.
So far, Hayes has raised over $30,000 for the cause.
“Survival rates haven’t changed in 50 years and there haven’t been any major breakthroughs,” she said on Monday.
“It doesn’t get as much funding as some other cancers and it was something that really ignited me and made me want to make sure that I put all my efforts … and every bit of energy into raising more money and awareness for the cause.”
In addition to raising money for ovarian cancer, Hayes hoped to beat the men’s Guinness World Record of 15 days for cycling across Canada, but she came up short, completing the journey in 20 days.
“I am the fastest woman to cycle across Canada, so I still have some sort of a record,” said Hayes.
While she’s pleased with her fundraising efforts and her new title, the trip wasn’t all smooth sailing for the cyclist.
Hayes says her RV battery died three times, the tire went flat, and she also had to repair 15 to 20 flat tires on her bike.
“I fell at some point, going over some train tracks,” she said, pointing to a nasty scrape on her arm.
“Between that and the crazy weather changes and everything, it just sort of felt like I battled Canada to get here.”
While her journey has ended, her fundraising efforts have not. Hayes plans to continue raising money for ovarian cancer research when she arrives back in Vancouver, with a goal of raising $100,000 by the end of the year.
She also hopes to tackle another cross-Canada bike ride in the future.
“We’re hoping in a couple years we can attack this again and, now that we know what we’re up against, maybe we can anticipate some more things and be a little bit more prepared for those,” said Hayes.
“It was obviously a massive physical undertaking, but it was well worth it for what we’ve been able to do.”