Experiencing Hospitality, Healing and the Kindness of Strangers on The Great Trail

In 2016, we heard one of the most inspiring tales from the Trail to date. Trevor Hodgson, a keen cyclist from Kelowna, B.C. told us how riding The Great Trail helps him cope with bipolar disorder.

“I can’t say that riding the Trail saved my life, but I will say it gave me a reason to live,” Trevor told us last year. “Now, riding the Trail is a way for me to stay physically fit, manage my weight and combat depression.”

After nine years and around 30,000 kilometres of “backcountry mountain bike adventures”, Trevor’s mission to explore every corner of Canada on the Trail was as strong as ever – especially during the Trail’s connection year.

Trevor began the latest section of his journey at Mile Zero, Newfoundland, in May 2017, with a goal of cycling west towards Victoria, B.C.

Trevor on the Newfoundland T’Railway

Starting with the “challenging and rewarding” Newfoundland T’Railway, he later cycled the entire Confederation Trail in Prince Edward Island, an experience he calls “love at first ride”. His first round of adventures this year led him through Trail sections in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario.

“Woodstock, New Brunswick, greeted me with a double rainbow, and treated me to a sunrise and sunset over the Saint John River,” he recalls. “Quebec’s beauty and love of bicycles captured my heart.”

However, disaster struck when Trevor took a rest stop in Winnipeg. While buying supplies at a supermarket, someone stole his bike and supplies, which were locked outside.

“The emotional crash I experienced when my bicycle was taken had me ready to quit,” he admits.

However, when his trailer and equipment were found abandoned in an alleyway, Trevor regained his determination to keep going.

With a new bike, Trevor gets ready to restart his journey

Encouraged by his friends and family, he reached out to media and started a GoFundMe Campaign to raise money for a new bike. Within 48 hours, generous strangers from Winnipeg and further afield helped Trevor raise $3,000.

“I was absolutely stunned and more than a little surprised by the positive response I got from the good people in Winnipeg and all across Canada,” says Trevor. “Inside a week, I had the new bike set up and was ready to continue my trans-Canada journey.”

“Despite some residual anger, fear and resentment at losing my bike, the people of Winnipeg restored my faith in humanity,” he added. “The new bike performed well and is an excellent mountain bike capable of riding the Trans Canada Trail.”

With a new bike and a new perspective, Trevor set off on his journey once again, taking in Trail sections in Saskatchewan, Alberta and, eventually, his home province of British Columbia.

Trevor arrives at Mile Zero in Victoria, BC

In 2017 alone, Trevor cycled a total of 10,031 kilometres. However, his cross-Canada journey is far from over. He’s already planning to return to Whitehorse in Yukon, where he intends to ride all the way to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories and complete the northern section of The Great Trail.

“Canada is rightly famous for its beautiful scenery and friendly people,” he says. “I am truly blessed to visit so many spectacular places.”

“The people I met are friendly, kind and helpful. Canada is an amazing country and riding across it has left me with an abundance of memories and stories.”

Want to keep up with Trevor on the Trail? Check out his page, Trev’s Travels.