Ambassador spotlight: Aaron’s Ride Across Canada

All text/images courtesy of Aaron Hiebert-Prasad unless otherwise noted

Aaron is a self-proclaimed adventure cyclist who has been plant-based/vegan for over a decade. Originally motivated by the potential health benefits of stuffing his face with plants, he now engages in activism by riding his bike and being vegan. The evolution of his understanding, and his desire to express empathy first, before anything else, follows several experiences that “activated” him to see the lives of the beings around him in a different way. He believes that we are able to be our best selves, our most powerful selves, by tapping in to our inherent compassion and using it to inform our daily actions.

Picture credit: Clare Gibson

His message, “Optimizing the Human Experience (by being vegan),” is his take on why we need to be using compassion at the start of our decision-making processes if we want to be operating to our fullest potential. This message was crafted through the thoroughly-examined lens of his own experiences (and inexperience) while pedalling 3,400km up and down the mountains of Colombia, and it shares song, dance, laughter, and tears, combining stories and science, anger and love.

Aaron’s fully loaded Montu Kopis V2 in naked carbon/gold

His current project is what he believes to be the ultimate expression of his beliefs, and the latest iteration of his experiments in discomfort and humanity. He will be attempting to ride close to 8,000km through Canada, meeting with fully activated human beings (sanctuary operators) along the way, and using the attention his project receives to give them the spotlight.

Other projects in his past include sanctuary-partnered events like a 12-hour spin bike ride, a 31-day hunger strike (and strength experiment), and his very first attempt at adventure cycling only a few years ago, riding 600km+ on the coast of Colombia…having never travelled by bike before.

He owes his current understanding of the world to the lessons animals have taught him, and he hopes we as humans can follow their lead.

Montu Kopis with 700x45C wheels and tires

After returning from my recent trip to Colombia (which included 3,400km travelled and over 35,000m of total elevation gain on my Montu Kopis—but more on that in a different writeup), I felt so enlivened by the prospect of riding my bike again that I began working on a cross-Canada project. What I now realize is that 2 months is not enough time to plan and coordinate a 3 month, 8000km ride…and the Montu team has been instrumental in helping me get as far as I have! As usual, my ignorance gets me started, and I’m hoping my stubbornness will carry me through.

This project is also a form of activism, and as an avid plant-based individual and animal-advocate, I will be using this ride to bring as much attention as possible to the many incredible animal sanctuary operators around our country. These are fully activated human beings, who perform super-human acts daily, and I hope to introduce them to you, by riding my brand new Montu Kopis (in a naked carbon build…whaaaaaaaaat) from Victoria, B.C. to Halifax, N.S., starting on June 5 and finishing on September 1.

I will be riding to each of the sanctuaries that I’ve been lucky enough to spotlight throughout the country, and even creating events with them where I will get to speak—hopefully generating some much needed funds and awareness for them through this physical act. I also hope to share my message, “Optimizing the Human Experience,” while doing so.

Our kick-off event is in support of A Home for Hooves Farm Sanctuary on June 5, in Victoria, and from there I’ll ride through Vancouver to Squamish, then back down to Langley Township (with events in both of those places), continuing east for events in Calgary and Edmonton, then through the prairie provinces into Ontario, with a half dozen or more events there. Following that, I’ll continue through the Ottawa/Québec area (wanna come for a ride?) and into New Brunswick and finishing at a festival in Halifax.

All of this will be on my Montu kit and on my new Kopis. For my money, there isn’t a better value out there, and the Montu team has constantly shown nothing but love and support (more than a little extra patience with me) for my endeavours, and it feels so cool to be a brand ambassador for them.

I don’t know what this project will bring yet, but I do know I’m going to enjoy the ride. And the tan lines.

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