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5-year-old Stoney Creek boy pedals 72 km to CN Tower

By Richard Leitner
Stoney Creek News (June 26, 2020)

Anna Schneberk is still a bit perplexed by what she set in motion when she asked her son if he wanted her to take the training wheels off his bike on Mother’s Day.

Ben, 5, not only quickly mastered getting around on two wheels, but two days later took her up on her suggestion he use the COVID school shutdown to do something to better himself by joining her for a longer ride.

Taking waterfront trails, they ultimately pedalled to Spencer Smith Park in Burlington and back to their Teal Avenue home by the lakeshore in Stoney Creek, a 20-kilometre trip.

Yet the junior kindergarten student at St. Agnes Catholic Elementary School had a more distant target in mind: Toronto’s CN Tower, increasingly visible to the youngster as the COVID shutdown cut traffic smog.

With help from his dad, Brian, Ben played a bit of a trick on Anna for the pair’s next excursion in early June, supposedly to Coronation Park in Oakville, where Brian was to meet them in the family's van.

Ben's real goal, she found out as they neared their destination, was his grandma’s house by Sir Winston Churchill Boulevard, a 34-kilometre trek that took between two-and-a-half and three hours.

Brian joined Ben for the next big outing, about an hour longer, to Port Credit, a place the couple wanted to show their son, although not expecting him to want to ride there, a 50-kilometre slog rewarded with a visit to an ice cream shop there.

Ben realized his goal on June 17, cycling the 72 kilometres to the CN Tower in six and a half hours, a feat Anna says is even more remarkable because he’s still pedalling the single-gear bike he got for his birthday in February.

She says she’s not sure what fuels his cycling wanderlust, since she and her husband, both teachers, aren’t natural athletes and only began working out “to keep up with our child.”

But Ben “was born running,” she adds, and first participated in the local Terry Fox Run when he was two, adding the Burlington event since then along with stroller races there.

“His big grandiose plan — and this is going to sound absolutely insane — is to bike ride across Canada,” says Anna, on maternity leave with her third child.

“I have no idea where he’s getting it from. I don’t know what he sees, and obviously he’s 5 and not able to articulate himself yet and express where that drive comes from,” she says. “I keep asking him and he keeps saying, ‘Because I can.’”






5-year-old Stoney Creek boy pedals 72 km to CN Tower
5-year-old Stoney Creek boy pedals 72 km to CN Tower