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Local cyclist reaches major milestone

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If you were to circumnavigate the world 25 times it would total about a million kilometres, and that's how many kilometres one local cyclist has just clocked.


On Feb. 2, in a ceremony at The Forks, Winnipeg cycling legend Lindsay Gauld celebrated riding his millionth kilometre, something he considers one of his biggest accomplishments.


The River Heights resident has clocked every kilometre since he started cycling more than 45 years ago.


"That was long enough ago that I was clocking miles," 64-year-old Gauld joked.


Though he started clocking his distance for training purposes, he decided to keep it up.


"It’s easy now because of cycle computers. Back then it was a little harder. If anything I probably cheated myself and done more than a million," Gauld said.


Gauld, a three-time Canadian champion speed skater, first jumped on a bike to train for the ice, but said he fell in love with cycling almost instantly.


Within a year or two he had given up speed skating all together, and went so far as to compete in the 1972 Munich Olympics in cycling.


Since he started cycling, Gauld has competed in more than 1,000 races. Just last week he returned from the Arrowhead Race in Minnesota – a 135 mile race which Gauld completed in just over 24 hours, and placed 17th. Gauld said out of the 141 riders who started the race, only 40 made it to the finish line.


At the end of this month, Gauld is heading to the Iditarod Trail Invitational in Alaska. Last year during the competition he suffered severe frostbite to his face and hands, resulting in his withdrawal from the 350 km race after 290 km.


Even when he’s not racing, Gauld tries to cycle as much as possible. While he said he’s not anti-car, he said he prefers to ride his bike any chance he gets.


"I do at least three times as many kilometres on my bike every year as I do in my car," Gauld said.


Even his retirement hobby involves being on a bicycle. While Gauld said his wife, Lynne’s, hobby is running a bed and breakfast the couple owns in Crescentwood, his is working as a bike courier.


However, he said cycling is something the couple does do together recreationally, and they will be embarking on a bike tour in Italy next fall.


Gauld said though he’s been clocking about 30,000 kms each year, he might ease up a little bit now that he’s achieved his millionth milestone.


He plans on skiing the Arrowhead Race next year instead.


"I’ve ski-raced a lot, and I have to get back to it," Gauld said.


danielle.finch@canstarnews.com

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