Kris Henrikson took up cycling four years ago to add a little exercise to a sedentary lifestyle.
Now, he’s gearing up to ride around Lake Ontario.
The Sarnia man is participating in ‘7 Days in May,’ a charity ride that sees cyclists circumnavigate the Great Lake in the name of Pancreatic cancer research.
He’s one of 30 riders doing the full loop May 26 to June 1.
Henrikson said it involves riding 120 to 200 kilometres daily, starting in Toronto, heading east to Kingston and crossing the border into upstate New York.
“The project itself is pretty ambitious,” said the Northern Collegiate grad.
Participants stay in hotels nightly and will be supported by bike mechanics, so there’s no danger of being stranded.
Henrikson bought a bike in 2014 because, as a process operator at Shell Canada, he wasn’t getting much exercise, he said.
“Inevitably you sit around in chairs a lot. Over time it adds up… it was starting to happen to me,” he said.
“The more I rode, the more I could see the benefits of it. It makes you feel awesome.”
In 2016 he took part in the first Bluewater International Granfondo in Bright’s Grove, taking on the longest distance of 150 km. He finished, despite cramping up over the final 15 km.
He returned to the Granfondo last year and was happy to report he kept pace with the visiting Toronto Rush cycling team for most of the day.
Henrikson said he’s lost many friends and family to cancer, and he sees riding around Lake Ontario as a logical next challenge.
“I’ll get through this one. I don’t think my love for cycling is going to go anywhere soon.”
For more information or to donate, visit 7daysinmay.com.