On Sept. 10 Burgi and four other riders will embark on an epic six day bike ride through the Himalayas in Northern India, reaching altitudes of nearly 5,500 metres (18,000 feet).
“Two of the highest rideable passes in the world,” Burgi said. “I say rideable, they’re not really rideable, but we’ll just try.”
On a previous trip to northern India he rented a cheap bike to test part of the route. But on that trip, he only went out for a couple of hours, not six full days in a row.
“The biggest challenge is I’m not really a cyclist,” Burgi said with a laugh. “I hardly know what I’m doing.”
Before moving to North Vancouver, Burgi lived in Nepal and saw the struggles of local children, many orphaned, living on the streets.
He started his non-profit charity Himalayan Life to provide support through education. The group built a school and launched programs helping hundreds of children realize their potential.
“They would say, ‘We were nobody, now we’re somebody.’ They’ve found their place in the community,” Burgi said.
“I’m looking forward to connecting along the way with so many families whose kids are actually going to our school.”
He’s been training hard for next month’s big ride. And while it’s a burn going up the local mountains, just imagine what it’s like in the Himalayas.
“You’re just not able to get enough air in your lungs and that’s just the way it is,” he explained.
Burgi and his team are ready for an incredible challenge, and he says they may even try to think of ways to top it in the future.
“Maybe we’ll do it again. Maybe we’ll make it an annual event,” Burgi said. “Let’s see how that one goes first.”
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