After dipping the tires of his heavily laden bicycle into the salty water at Stanley Park in Vancouver, 24-year-old Graeme Loader set off from British Columbia in mid-July to raise money for the World Wildlife Foundation.
That adventure ended on Monday when he was struck from behind by a car on the West Canada Highway near Brandon, Manitoba.
“WWF-Canada is incredibly saddened by the loss of this energetic, talented, and wonderful young man,” said WWF-Canada’s president and CEO David Miller.
Loader was a professional photographer from the Toronto area who was documenting his journey across the nation in wonderful photos posted at his blog — Compelling Images.
By all accounts, he set off as somewhat of a novice at bicycling. He wrote at his blog that he rode 72 miles the first day, “more than I have ridden if you took all my rides and added them together.”
He had crossed over the Canadian Rockies and was zooming across the Canadian prairie, now an accomplished bicycle tourist clicking off 90 to 100 miles a day.
There are few details about the crash, except that it occurred about 8 p.m. Monday about 2 kilometers west of Brandon on Highway 1A. The driver of the SUV was not injured and neither alcohol or drugs appear to be a factor. Police are continuing their investigation.
The WWF says it will continue to host the Compelling Images blog in his memory.
“Graeme was cycling across Canada, exploring our amazing country, enjoying its nature, from BC headed east, home to the Toronto area. As a professional photographer, Graeme was taking amazing photographs and sharing them through his blog. He was also graciously raising money for WWF-Canada.
“Our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences go to Graeme’s parents, brothers, sister and all of the extended Loader family.”
Graeme had raised about half of his goal of $15,000. You can visit his WWF fund-raising page to read more about his trip.