Highway to Healing made another round trek around Oliver in its efforts to alleviate the hardships endured from tragedy.
Even with a universal health care system, recovering from a debilitating accident is still likely to financially drain the family involved.
Riley Martin, who’s a paraplegic and serves as a director with Highway to Healing, rode the full 30 kilometre route on his hand cycle at the June 12th “Ride to Provide” event in Lion’s Park.
“I grew up here in Oliver, and then when I had my injury I was down in Vancouver recovering, and with my parents having to spend a lot of money travelling back and forth to see me, on top of the money they were losing by taking time off work, the costs grew exponentially,” he said.
“That’s pretty much exactly what Highway to Healing does, we pay for medical funds when families have to go out of town for treatment. The cause is very dear to me. It provides pretty much exactly what my family went through.”
Martin has been involved in Highway to Healing and participating in the rides since its beginning in 2013.
Although he’s spent years shaping up his arms to powerfully propel himself on a hand cycle, he said the hills are still very tough with hand-powered pedals. And those inclines were extra hard for his hand cycling friend Shawn Baxter, whose lowest gear was out of order.
“Once you get going at speed on the level stuff it’s really nice,” Martin said.
The 30.9 kilometre route was a wide perimeter around Oliver, and it was important to organizers to include Ryegrass Road and Black Sage Road, which gave riders a cinematic view of the vineyards on the west side of the valley, which had the early-morning sun shining on them from the east.
For more information about Highway to Healing, call 250-498-7811 or visit www.highwaytohealing.org
By Dan Walton