Kristen & P.L. Meindertsma, Co-Founders, Cycle 5 to Survive
P.L. and his wife Kristen combined their love of cycling with a desire to help those less fortunate by creating ‘Cycle 5 to Survive’ (C5TS). They set out to use their Time, Talent, and Treasures to raise money and awareness for charities so they can fulfill their purposes of creating cycles of opportunity for the less fortunate through sports, education, or business.
This purpose is based on their diverse skill sets: Kristen brings education to the table, while P.L.’s background in business drives them forward with a focus on success. And they wouldn’t have met if it weren’t for sports. Each charity they have chosen to support falls within one of these three key areas.
Their idea wasn’t born as a fleeting thought; instead, it emerged from a desire for P.L. wanting to find more meaning in life, and by the mutual celebration of his 50th birthday and Kristen’s 55th birthday in 2022.
Using the number ‘5’ – representative of their ages, they are setting out on an incredible journey: they are pledged to traverse five continents on bicycles over the next five years while partnering with five different charities along the way in the hopes of raising $500,000 for each charity. What began as a dream evolved into reality through C5TS—a reality that is helping make positive changes in the world.
For more information, videos, and an opportunity to give, please visit cycle5tosurvive.com.
Source: The Abbotsford News
P. L. and Kristen Meindertsma of Abbotsford have started the Cycle 5 to Survive (C5TS) initiative. They plan to cycle five continents over five years while raising $500,000 each for five charities; Opportunity International Canada, Himalayan Life, iDE, Hope for Korah and LCC International University.
They will start with 4,300 km trip along Continental Divide
Their 2023 trip begins June 17 and involves cycling 4,300 kilometres along the Continental Divide, an off-road route stretching across Canada and the U.S.
The route has 45,000 metres in elevation gains – equal to summiting Mt. Everest from sea level five times.
The pair will start in Banff, Alta. and finish in Antelope, New Mexico (at the Mexico/U.S. border). They aim to ride 100 kilometres per day.
The couple will carry all the necessary supplies with them, including a tent, sleeping bag, cooking stove and emergency items.
They have taken a wilderness survival first aid course and have created an emergency plan should they become injured or sick along the way.
“We are so excited about this new initiative,” said P. L. ”It’s a great opportunity for us to make an impact on those who need it most and we are so grateful for any support we receive.”
P. L., who has a background in business, was born in the Netherlands and immigrated with his family to B.C. in 1982. He chose to abbreviate his name using just his initials.
Kristen, a physical education teacher, travelled across Canada to start anew, eventually settling in B.C. in 1994, following her mom’s death from breast cancer.
The pair were married in August 2000 and have two children – Maijken, who is hoping to make it big in international rowing, and Marijke, who is currently playing soccer at the university level.
P. L. and Kristen had both competed in university sports and together trained in triathlon racing. On their honeymoon 10 days after their wedding, they competed together in the Penticton Ironman Triathlon.
P. L. was struggling with his purpose in life and came up with the idea to do the five epic bike trips. When he presented his idea to Kristen, “she thought it was crazy,” he writes on the C5TS website.
“But (she) immediately wanted to join me on this amazing adventure and said, ‘Sure, let’s do it!’ “ he stated.
The number “five” is representative of their ages – in 2022, P.L. turned 50 and Kristen turned 55.
The pair say that every cent raised through C5TS will go directly to the chosen charities. They are covering all expenses, including credit card and processing fees, and each charity is waiving all administrative fees.
Visit cycle5tosurvive.com for more information, including about each recipient charity, or to make a donation.