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Couple riding for Their Opportunity

Lorn Scanlan and his wife Diana have been riding across the country to raise money for Oshawa charity Their Opportunity. While Diana had to drop out due to a knee injury, the pair were joined by their grandson Luka for two weeks. (Photos supplied)

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

A local couple is cycling across the country and back to raise money for Oshawa charity Their Opportunity.

Lorn and Diana Scanlan are currently in Kelowna, BC taking a well earned break and visiting family during their charity ride.

While Diana has been forced to drive most of the way after an injury to her knee early in the trip, Lorn is still making sure to ride his bike as much as he can.

The ride began in Bowmanville, according to Lorn, and St. John’s, Nfld. was the original destination.

“I just had a plan to go to St. John’s and that didn’t work out, so I got peeved off,” he says with a laugh.

“But what we ended up doing is going around the Gaspé Peninsula because we couldn’t get through to New Brunswisk,” he explains. “And then we made our way out [west] and we’re in Kelowna, BC now.”

He notes he didn’t ride his bike the whole way, occasionally riding in the car with the injured Diana, who drove out the Gaspé Peninsula after hurting her knee.

But he made sure to ride in areas he believes would be highlights.
“I rode from Banff up into Lake Louise and Calgary out towards Banff. Just pieces all the way out to visit the granddaughter,” he says.

Lorn says he’s always had a goal of riding across Canada, and wanted to split it up and go out to St. John’s this year, and then out to Vancouver next year.

“But COVID kind of messed that up,” he says. “What would have been good is if I had just changed my plan around and just come out to Vancouver this year, I would’ve just rode the whole thing out.”

But in the end, Lorn says it was a fun ride, even if he wasn’t on his bike the whole way.

So far he’s ridden 2,354 km, but wants to ride another 954 km by the end of August as that was the original goal.

“To go from Bowmanville to St. John’s, Nfld., with a little side trip to visit some friends in Newfoundland, it was going to be about 3,300 km, so I want to make sure I do that,” he says.

The funds raised by the Scanlan’s will be going to Oshawa’s Their Opportunity, a charity which helps local youth play sports.

“Their Opportunity is a great charity, especially with what they do for the kids,” says Lorn.

He explains about eight years ago there was a group of women who rode across Canada and raised money for Their Opportunity, and now do so annually. This gave Lorn the idea to partake in the ride this year.

While things changed due to COVID-19, and people were told simply to keep track of their miles at home, Lorn says they were planning to do half of Canada anyways.

“We thought, ‘Hey, yeah, we’re doing it anyways, so let’s raise some money for a great charity at the same time,’” he says.

So far they have raised just under $2,000, but the whole program raised approximately $10,000.

For those interested in learning more about Their Opportunity, visit theiropportunity.com.

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