Last September, Carl Ratzlaff, 30, wearing rain gear and a helmet and strapped into a specialized bicycle set off to participate in the MCC B.C. Pedaling for Hope Cyclathon with his parents.
Ratzlaff, who is on the autism spectrum and has cerebral palsy and occasional seizures, plans to take part again this year. It will be his third time riding in the event which is part of the MCC B.C. Festival for World Relief, held each September in Abbotsford.
With a little help from his father, Jonathan, and a Hase Pino, a specialized tandem German bicycle from a company that specializes in producing bicycles and tricycles for disabled individuals, Carl is able to cycle 20 kilometres with relative ease.
Carl’s seat up front has a seatbelt, a kickstand that can withstand almost 250 pounds, and independent pedaling. Behind him, his father controls steering, braking and can also pedal. Lorraine Ratzlaff, Carl’s mother, follows behind them.
It’s designed to ride with someone with disabilities. It’s great because it fits Carl perfectly, he doesn’t have to bend his knees so much and can coast when he needs a break,” Jonathan says.
MCC photo/Jon Nofziger
For the past two years, the three have made the extra effort to participate and both times, in true British Columbian fashion, it’s rained.
Carl says, “It’s fun except for the pouring rain!”
Collectively, the family has raised nearly $3,000 for MCC’s relief, development and peace work globally.
Giving to MCC and taking part in MCC events are important to them.
“I like that they partner with organizations overseas and they seem to be quite responsible with administration costs,” Carl’s mother, Lorraine explains. “We wouldn’t be here if not for MCC. They helped my family come to Canada.”
The cyclathon is one way the family can contribute to a good cause as a family.
Money raised at the 2017 Pedaling for Hope Cyclathon in September will support a maternal and child health project in Afghanistan coordinated by MCC’s partner, Medair.
The project aims to address high levels of malnutrition and preventable illnesses due to chronic drought and conflict by offering nutritional training and support for facilities treating malnutrition. It will also offer hygiene and sanitation training and wells and latrines for homes, schools and clinics. The project is expected to benefit 121,600 people.
Join Lorraine, Jonathan and Carl Ratzlaff as they do whatever it takes to pedal for hope this September!
To learn more about the MCC B.C. Festival for World Relief and the Pedaling for Hope Cyclathon, click here.