UBC Grad Pedalling in the Path of his Father by Biking Across CANADA!
A local UBC graduate has begun the incredible journey of biking across Canada! William Zittlau started his trek over a week ago in Victoria and has already made his way to Banff! The trip is a lifelong goal he was inspired to achieve by the influence of his father, who cycled across Canada in the 80’s.
Zittlau lost his dad when he was very young, but his father’s journals of the cross-country graduation trip, inspired him to set the same goal. “Growing up I always saw his bike in the basement and heard the story behind it and that kind of put the thought in my head that I want to do that too.” said Zittlau.
Despite losing his father at such a young age, Will has found striking similarities in their lives, often unintentionally. “My whole life I’ve found out things as I’ve grown up and been like, wow that’s crazy that we’re like living this parallel life, 40 years apart…It’s really interesting having all this influence from a man I don’t really have a memory of.“ Add to that list, a passion for the outdoors, and achieving the same Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.
He had hoped to take the trip right after graduating in 2020, but decided to postpone due to the global pandemic. The software developer from Kelowna is being cautious on his route, adhering to social distancing guidelines. “I am fully self sufficient on the bike, all I’m really stopping for is food.”
William is taking the solo bike trip for personal reasons, to bring closure from the loss of his father at a young age. “I’m really just doing the ride for myself, and to get that final closure.” However, he does link to a fundraising page for the Walk to End ALS on his Instagram.
The entire journey across Canada is over 7000km, and takes an average of 3 months to complete on a bike. Will is hoping to accomplish the feat in 2 months to matchup with his father’s 62-day trip from Victoria to Halifax. Having already crossed into the Rockies, he is well on his way!
“I’m probably going to try and keep it around 100km per day, that should put me around the 60 day mark. It’s a pretty sustainable pace; it’s like 5 to 6 hours of riding.” Right, no big deal, just a casual 100km A DAY, for two months! Impressive to say the least.
The ambitious adventurer had this advice to offer for anyone else who’s set a goal they want to achieve: “There’s never going to be a perfect time to do it. Put in the work to prepare and when that opportunity arises, don’t hesitate to take it.”