For Grant Hatherley of Flin Flon, Man., riding from Canada to Mexico was meant to be another “journey of self-discovery,” to use the Flin Flon Reminder‘s words. What prompted the young cyclist’s ride was simply a desire to see what he’s made of.
Long-haul bike journeys are nothing new to the Manitoba rider. In September 2015, Hatherley started from near Victoria on a 6,000-km trek that took him to Pugwash, N.S. “I want to really find myself and push myself and see how far I can be pushed,” Hatherley said, then 19 years old. “I want to experience something that hardly anybody gets to experience at such a young age.”
With no sponsors, support or companions, Hatherley said about that ride, the mission was all about rubber, soul and discovery. “I’m doing this trip solo,” he said. “It’s just me and my bike.”
On his current ride to from Montreal to Mexico, though, Hatherley’s two-wheeling solo journey has met a challenge.
After arriving in New York City to greet the new year, Hatherley set off for Pennsylvania, where “everything fell apart” on Jan. 8, as Phillyvoice.com says. Stopping for a cup of coffee, he asked a stranger to keep an eye on his ride and his gear while he visited a restroom to freshen up. Within 10 minutes that stranger was gone, along with his bike, bike trailer, lock, and nearly everything in his possession, including clothes, a camera, a sleeping mat and a laptop.
“Just lost my baby, my pride and joy, my life, my hope, my soul, my blood sweat and tears,” Hatherley wrote on Facebook. “The bicycle is no longer mine, as I went to the washroom for 10 minutes my lock was cut, and dragged away.”
A few bus rides later, though, Hatherley is back in Montreal, regrouping. And his resolve to finish the journey is in no way diminished.
“I need to regroup, and rebuild,” Hatherley wrote. “But I’m not going to leave this unfinished I promise I’ll go back and bike from where my bike got stolen to Mexico. I just need to reset and rethink know things in a warm house and not on the streets. Right now like I said loosing [sic] the bike and gear put a big dent. And reset in my trip.”