How to cycle the world in 14 days? Hint: you don't leave Winnipeg
They’re pedalling around the world in 14 days.
Newly engaged Michael Horbay and Lisa Kappel, both 45, are self-described "avid" cyclists and runners. In summers past, their bikes have taken them across the city, from Bombers games to The Forks and places between. Last year, they cycled to 14 different Folklorama pavilions. This year, they’re hoping to top that, biking to all of the 43 pavilions the festival offers.
"Second day in, it’s been an awesome adventure and we’re just, Lisa and I are just pumped," said Horbay Monday evening, the second night of the festival.
Already, he and his fiancee had been to three pavilions — Germany, Hungary and Ethiopia — and were about to head out to three more: the Philippines, Portugal and Spain.
For two weeks every summer, Folklorama’s pavilions offer Winnipeggers a peek into cultures from all over the globe. Last year’s festival brought out more than 400,000 visitors to the 43 venues, run by more than 20,000 volunteers. Now celebrating its 46th birthday, the festival’s 2015 run began Sunday and will wrap up on Aug. 15.
In that time, Horbay and Kappel estimate they will cycle more than 400 kilometres — logging just over 30 the first night and assuming the next 13 will be similar — and catching between two and four shows a day. You’ll be able to spot them by their bright red T-shirts, branded "Cycling Folklorama #seeitall."
"Folklorama means a lot to us," said Kappel on Monday. "It’s a chance to experience a holiday within our own city. We get to see the world on our bikes."
After sampling a handful of pavilions by bike last year and loving it, Kappel said she and Horbay decided to get serious this time round.
"This year, we actually took holidays and re-arranged our schedules for the weeks to make it out to all of (the pavilions)," she said. "Michael sat down, and we got the Folklorama (guide), and a lot of the pavilions are kind of grouped together. We picked the furthest one of the grouping and then we go to the other ones after that."
Horbay said the biggest motivation to ride to each event is pretty simple.
"You know, cycling is, first of all, a lot of fun," he said. There’s also the added layer of convenience: no worries about finding parking, and Horbay said staff at the pavilions have been "extremely gracious" in helping store the cycles safely — plus, there’s no traffic. Kappel added she appreciates that cycling is easier on the environment than driving around in a car, and both value the chance to challenges themselves and get some exercise.
The pair will be tweeting about their journey, using the hashtags #michaelandlisafitnessfun and #seeitall — a challenge in itself, Horbay noted.
"The cycling is the easy part, it’s all the social media we have to keep up on," he quipped.
More than anything, Kappel said she hopes other Winnipeggers are inspired to catch a Folklorama show — by bike or otherwise.
"I think sometimes we (Winnipeggers) tend to not take advantage of things that are offered at home," she said.
"We just want to encourage Winnipeggers to get out there on their bikes and to take advantage of what the city has to offer right here at home."
firstname.lastname@example.org *Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 4, 2015 A2*