Alaska to Panama - cycling for a cause
by Allan Wishart
May 30th, 2007

After grabbing a bite to eat at Tim Hortons, Michal Brichacek heads back onto the road on his fundraising bicycle trip.

Michal Brichacek is having an interesting summer.

He’ll be seeing a lot of Canada, the United States and Central America.

The Wayne State (Detroit) student is cycling from Anchorage, Alaska to Panama City, Panama.

“People think I’m crazy,” he admits during a short stop in Vanderhoof on Friday, “but they like what I’m doing.”

The shirt he’s wearing as he rides says “” on the front and “Lance Armstrong Foundation” on the back.

The foundation was formed by Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner, to raise money for cancer research, awareness and advocacy. It’s no surprise to see Brichacek wearing one of the foundation’s Livestrong bracelets.

“I’m trying to raise awareness of the foundation and raise funds. I’d like to raise $1 for every kilometre I ride.

“I always liked what they represent,” he says. “I have never been affected personally by cancer, but some of my friends have been.”

Brichacek is from Windsor, and really appreciates the scenery he has seen on the first three weeks of the journey.

“Where I’m from, we don’t have any forests or mountains, so it’s been great cycling through this landscape.”

He had the summer off from school, and decided to take on this challenge.

“I’ve done several one-day cycling things before, but never anything like this. The closest I’ve probably come to this was when I went hiking for a month in Virginia a few years ago.”

Even though that trip was on foot and not wheels, he learned some lessons he has applied to this summer’s journey.

“I packed heavy then. I’ve learned to pack as light as you can, especially when you’re on a bike.”

He rode through Vanderhoof on his 23rd day on the road, ahead of schedule.

“I was figuring on averaging 100 kilometres a day, and I’m averaging 120.”

That will slow down a bit as it gets hotter, and he also plans on taking a couple of days off when he gets further south.

“I’m going to take two days off and go to Whistler when I’m down there.”

To keep track of Brichacek’s progress or to donate to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, visit his website at

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