Cycles of Change

Riding a bike is about balance, and for P.L. and Kristen Meindertsma, their upcoming journey will be about finding balance in extraordinary circumstances.

P.L. was turning 50 and feeling lost. “I was searching for meaning. I found myself questioning that there must be more to life than this,” said P.L., who chose to abbreviate his name to P.L. when his family moved to Canada from the Netherlands in the early ‘80s. 

After a period of introspection, P.L. arrived at a new plan to find purpose in life, and it is a doozy: Five epic bike rides spanning five continents over the course of the next five years. While Kristen witnessed her husband reaching inward for inspiration, for her, being a part of what they titled Cycle 5 to Survive is about reaching out, a continuation of her commitment as an educator. Taking on challenges together is a big part of who they are together and as a family. When they married in 2000, their honeymoon was competing together in the Penticton Ironman Triathlon. The couple’s two children, Maijken and Marijke, are also multi-sport athletes.

First up in the series of five rides begins June 17 in Banff, Alberta and finishes at Antelope, New Mexico at the Mexico/US border. This 4,300 km route includes more than 45,000 metres of elevation gains, equal to summiting Mount Everest from sea level five times.

The couple selected iDE Canada as a perfect match for Cycle 5 To Survive, the goal being to create “cycles of opportunity for the less fortunate through sports, education, or business.”