A man who came to Saskatoon 12 years ago as a Rwandan refugee with his family is biking across Canada for some glory.
“It hasn’t been easy,” said 37-year-old Jean-Aimé Bigirimana, as his fixed gear bike was stolen in Burlington Ont. during the journey.
“I thought that was going to be it, but all my supporters gathered to raise money so I could buy a new bike,” he said.
His tour started in January and so far has covered 11,000 km across the country.
“I did it to challenge myself,” Bigirimana said.
“The cycling is the easiest part because you just peddle. The logistics haven’t been fun because I’m not very good at planning,” he said.
Bigirimana is riding solo and has been hit by numerous vehicles, found himself in the hospital, and has dealt with heavy snow and extreme heat.
“It’s Canada and it’s cycling across a country, you have to expect the unexpected,” he said.
“I will do it unless something drastic or tragic happens, but I want to know what I’m made of,” he said.
Bigirimana (aka JaBig) who now lives in Montreal, stopped into Saskatoon Friday night to DJ an event at Ground Yoga– he’s a famous international spinner with 300,000 fans on YouTube.
“My family knew Bigirimana when he came to Saskatoon,” said Manager of Ground Yoga Heather Longueil. “Many families, including mine helped bring him and his family through our church to Canada.”
Longueil said they’ve wanted him to come to DJ Ground Yoga for many years now.
“It just never worked out, but now that he was coming through it happened and we’re so excited,” she said.
Bigirimana, who’s on his way to Edmonton AB. on Monday, doesn’t know when he’ll complete the journey to British Columbia.