A local Paralympian is taking on an epic cycling challenge.
Tristen Chernove is gearing up to take his bicycle on a test of mental and physical endurance for the B.C. Epic 1,000 — an almost entirely off-road and self-supported ride that will take him through B.C.’s southern interior from Fernie to Merritt.
Oh, and he’s going to try to finish in three days.
Chernove, a triple-medallist in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, will attempt to break the event’s westbound record, which is currently held at three days, 15 hours and 33 minutes. Much of the informal route utilizes much of the Trans-Canada trail network and back roads across the Okanagan and Kootenay regions.
He set his sights on the 1,000-kilometre ride as a way to stay motivated with a training regimen that has been thrown into flux due to the postponement of the Tokyo Paralympic Games that was slated for this summer.
“I do my best as far as performing as an athlete when I have difficult challenges to rise to and this to me looked like something that would challenge me on many levels,” said Chernove, in a press release issued by the Canadian Paralympic Committee.
“This is providing something else for me to focus on and push myself in a different way.”
Chernove has been a dominant force in C2 para-cycling road and track events on the UCI World Cup circuit, earning 13 world titles and also capturing a gold, silver and bronze at the Rio de Janeiro Games four years ago.
While the B.C. Epic 1,000 serves as a fresh challenge, Chernove is also promoting the event as a fundraiser for the Paralympic Foundation of Canada, which raises money to support athletes living with a disability.
“I really wanted to do something where I could see how my sport efforts are about something more than just myself,” said Chernove. “I want to help organizations like the Paralympic Foundation of Canada provide opportunities for other athletes like the opportunity that has been provided to me.
“It’s been so instrumental in the quality of life that I live and the happiness I get from being able to be involved in sport, so it just absolutely made sense to me to do anything I could to help create new avenues and support existing avenues for individuals who might not ordinarily see themselves being able to access an athletic lifestyle.”
Chernove is hoping to start the ride in Fernie on July 18, depending on weather conditions. Supporters can follow along on social media, and anyone wishing to contribute to the Paralympic Foundation of Canada can visit his fundraising page.
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