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John Murtaugh to Peddle across the US-Mexico Border

By Mark O’Neill

Seventy-year-old John Murtaugh launched his Bi-CICLO cycling trek from Toronto on September 15 (Mexican Independence Day). On the last leg of his 2,500 mile/4,000km cycling adventure from Toronto to San Miguel de Allende, he planned to cross from Texas into Mexico at Hidalgo/Reynosa on Oct 17-18 and arrive in San Miguel in time for Day of the Dead (November 1 and 2).

Murtaugh’s goal is to raise at least US$25,000 for three Mexican charities supported by Amistad Canada. As of October 14, the project had received more than US$16,000 from donors across Canada and the United States. Supporters can follow his journey via the Amistad website and the Bi-CICLO Facebook page.

The documentary film CICLO inspired Murtaugh. It tells the story of two Mexican brothers, Arturo and Gustavo Martínez, who cycled from Mexico City to Toronto back in 1956. They remained in Canada, married, and raised their families. Several years ago, filmmaker Andrea Martinez Crowther persuaded her father (Arturo) and uncle (Gustavo) to retrace their journey. After seeing her film, Murtaugh, who is himself an experienced long-distance cyclist, decided to take the same trip, but in reverse. Hence, Bi-CICLO.

Amistad Canada is a CRA-registered charity that provides a way for Canadians to support its Mexican partner organization CASA (Centro Para Adolescentes de San Miguel de Allende). It operates various social and education projects in and around the central Mexican city. Amistad was founded in 2009 as a successor organization to Canadians for CASA, which itself was founded in the 1980s by John Murtaugh’s late mother-in-law, Aileen Harris, and was later run by his late wife, Elizabeth Harris.

Amistad contributes to the salaries of three CASA staff members: the clinical coordinator of its School of Midwifery, the library coordinator, and one of the psychologists on its anti-violence team. If John meets his target, the US$25,000 will pay those three salaries for an entire year.

Tax-deductible donations can be made via

or, in the USA, via

Please indicate you are contributing to the fund for Bi-CICLO for Amistad.

Thank you: Association of Ryerson Midwifery Students, BarVolo, Cask Days Cask Beer Festival, Flight Network for flying John and his bike back to Toronto, the Midas Letter, Portfolio Management Corporation, the ShaRna Foundation, The Spanish Centre, and Cycle Solutions, 444 Parliament St., Toronto, for keeping his wheels in such good shape.

Gracias a: Association of Ryerson Midwifery Students, BarVolo, Cask Days Cask Beer Festival, Flight Network por volar a John y a su bicicleta de regreso a Toronto, the Midas Letter, Portfolio Management Corporation, ShaRna Foundation, The Spanish Centre and Cycle Solutions, 444 Parliament St, Toronto, por mantener su bicicleta en tan buen estado.

For more information, please contact:
Mark O’Neill, en español,
Deborah Brandt
647 234 4253
416 995 9288

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