Ken Krahn is bracing himself, fluffing up his red snowsuit and hoping for generous pledges.
On Thursday, Jan. 15, along with fellow quader Hans Zundal, he’ll make a 444 Km trail of tracks from Fort McMurray to Fort Smith in the Territories.
They’ll be travelling with flashing beacons on their quads along with a number of helpers who’ll be driving vehicles that will provide the flashing lights in front and behind for personal safety, a requirement of the permit needed to go through the Wood Buffalo National Park.
This is Krahn’s ninth annual Ride for Hope, which, over a period of seven years, has raised more than $100,000 for the Centre of Hope in Fort McMurray.
This year, the funds raised through the Ride for Hope will be used to support extended programs at the Centre of Hope that provide services to those in need beyond regular business hours.
Why would Krahn expose himself to the harsh, subzero elements every year?
“There are a lot of people sleeping outside in this weather,” Krahn explains. “These people are doing it every day. On the run, yeah, we’ll get frostbitten and we’ll freeze up, but we’re going back to a warm home. They don’t.”
Ken Krahn, left, and Drew Wilson keep their fingers warm at the end of an earlier Ride for Hope.
It’s possible that, this year, the temperature will be kinder than in previous years.
“One year the temperature was minus 35 and the next, minus 44, but one year, it was minus five and went to plus one. It took me three years to get the proper suit (for $1,200), the one I’ll wear on Thursday.”
As it happens, Krahn says that it’s unlikely that this year’s Ride for Hope will garner its goal of $25,000, but he’s optimistic that if enough residents who are already tired of winter hear about Thursday’s Ride for Hope and its purpose, that they’ll sponsor the quaders.
Krahn says he’ll accept pledges before, during and after Thursday’s event. He can be contacted at 780-715-8102 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.