By Carson Ellis
For the Independent
Scott Douglas has been raising money for Spinal Cord Injury Alberta over the last couple of years with his hand bike, and some friends.
Douglas’ first trip was to Red Deer where he and a group of friends who rode regular bikes and one hand bike travelled through a steady rain. In 2022, they braved the narrow shoulders of Highway 56 on their way to Drumheller.
Douglas says he was raising money for Spinal Cord Injury Alberta as it has helped him out a great deal since his accident. This year, he is riding to Calgary on July 8 and will be raising money for Alberta Communities Against Sexual Abuse (ACASA).
Douglas will be travelling down Highway 56 until he reaches Highway 9. He will then head west to Highway 21 and then continue south alongside Airdrie, and Calgary without having to enter it. He picked this route largely for safety.
According to Google Maps, the trip is roughly 12 hours; but, Douglas is hoping to make the approximately 231-kilometre ride in nine hours. Although he has yet to have anyone agree to ride the full journey with him this year, some of his friends have said they will ride partway with him. He will also have family in a truck following behind him with spare parts, food and drinks to help him make the trip.
Douglas explains that he had decided to change to a different charity this year after someone suggested it to him. He understands there are a lot of great organizations out there that could use funds and this is his way of helping them the best he can. He picked the abuse support group after having personal interactions with their organization.
Douglas says if the timing is right there will be executives from the Calgary office there to meet him when he arrives.
Currently, Scott is selling tickets to help raise donation money. You can buy a bear for $25 and your name will be entered into a draw. There will be two winners from the draw with the prize being a half-hour helicopter ride for up to three people. Ron Victor of Edmonton will be bringing his helicopter down and has offered the rides. The winners will fly over Scott for a portion of his ride and then a scenic tour of Stettler for the last segment.
Douglas has already received $1,000 in donations which he says he will donate to the Calgary office and any other funds he plans on donating to the Stettler office.
When Scott’s not traversing the province on his hand bike, he keeps himself busy in a variety of ways. He works mainly at Stettler Autotrust, though also does some freelance work as an auctioneer and is a member of the Auctioneers Association of Alberta. Douglas is also a client ambassador with United Way and does youth mentoring at the Heartland Youth Centre.
He does hope to one day ride across Canada and has some ideas on that; but for now, he plans to do a trip a year to raise money for different organizations. He believes in doing what makes you happy, looking for good things in everyday life, and helping those around you.