The man who biked across Canada

Last week, I had a privilage of meeting Ryo Ambe, Japanese man who cycled across Canada.

I didn’t know anything about his trip until I got an email from Mike Abe, president of Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society, and well respected leader in Japanese-Canadian community in Victoria. Soon after that, I found Ryo on Twitter and made contact with him. And I attended the press conference at the city hall the next day.

There were about 20 people gathered, most of them wearing Support Japan T-shirts. Ryo talked about his trip and showed us some slides from his massive photo collection.

Unfortunately, I was unable to accompany the group of cyclists to Mile Zero, Ryo’s official goal of this trip, but you can see the clip from CTV here.

The next day I took Ryo out to lunch at Daidoco (Best Japanse lunch spot in Victoria in my opinion) and got to chat about his experience.

Ryo used to work at the department store Isetan. But after losing his friend to cancer,who told him to follow his dreams, and after the 311 earthquake and Tsunami, he decided to come to Canada, his favourite country, and bike across it from Halifax to Victoria to thank the people in Canada for their support.  He started in May, and arrived in Victoria in late September. That’s 7900Km!

We talked about a lot of different things, my living in Canada, his experience in Canada….we both agreed that this is a very fine country.

He is going back to Japan in October, and hopes to do another quick bike trip in Taiwan, which also helped Japan so much after the disaster, to thank the people there.

He also said he wants to write a book about his ride in Canada. Good luck Ryo!

You can read his blog (mostly in Japanese) here.