Where Are We Now? officially launched in May 2017 when two friends (Nathan Savelli and Wade Zacharias) decided they wanted a way to share their personal stories of cycling from Vancouver, BC to Hamilton, ON on what they called their “Nate and Wade’s Ride to Remember”.
The two first met a number of years back when their mutual friend invited them over to watch Game of Thrones. At first, only occasionally seeing each other in the community they would greet each other, but never really got to know each other. It wasn’t until late 2016 when that same friend (shout out to Jack Bernacki) organized a bi-weekly board game night that they really started to get to know each other.
Since the end of N&W’s R2R, Nate now manages the website. While future adventures will certainly take place and be shared on it, the website now serves as a way for Nate to look inside, reflect and share his own personal journey of growth.
Thanks for taking the time to follow along and read!
Meet The Team
An atypical 31-year-old extrovert on the brink of what he's calling his quarter-life crisis. Like Wade, Nate had dreamt of taking an epic cycling trip for quite some time. When Nate was 16 years old he was hit by a car crossing the street. Life hasn't been the same since. After years of recovery, he's found himself consistently driven to test his physical/mental limits through feats of physical and mental endurance.
In his spare time, Nate loves playing board games/role-playing games, binge-watching Netflix or being outside. He has a crush on most people he meets and is a sucker for love. He considers himself addicted to music, an anti-capitalist, arts supporter, activist, and environmentalist. He's been vegan for over 12 years now and straight edge his entire life. He works full time as a Life Coach & Facilitator supporting high school youth in the north end of Hamilton and part-time teaching Environmental Sustainability at Mohawk College.
Nate considers completing N&W's Ride to Remember to be one of the most meaningful accomplishments in his life. The ride for him was a way to process the complex feelings of loss and powerlessness that Alzheimer often has over the loved one of those gone or suffering. It also served as a great opportunity to make a positive contribution to the important work being done by the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
An ordinary father of 2 who at the time of the Ride to Remember was 38 years old and looking to fulfill a dream by riding across Canada with the support of his beautiful wife (take a moment and consider just how supportive that is to allow him to leave for 34 straight days…). Wade was originally planning to do this ride when he graduated from university, and after months of training, he was hit by a car near his house on his last training ride. Thankfully the only things that were permanently damaged were his common sense and his bike.
15 or so years later Wade went out West to visit family and saw people cycling and the dream was rekindled!
Though Wade’s immediate family at the time of the ride had not been directly touched with the terrible affliction that is Alzheimer’s Disease, the Alzheimer Society of Canada was in his eyes a worthy cause he felt honoured to raise money for while striking an item off of his bucket list.
Ride to Remember (Part 1) History:
On February 6th, 2017 after just a few times hanging out Wade got the idea to send an email to Nate with the subject line: "can't believe I didn't ask you before" and proceeded to tell him about his plans to spend part of the summer cycling 4,630km from Vancouver, BC to Hamilton, ON. Waiting for an opportunity like this for years Nate jumped at the chance to get involved and within a week had the time off work approved, set up a saving account for the trip and met up with Wade for their first trip planning session. Both keen to use the trip as an opportunity to give back to others they discussed their passions and issues close to their hearts. After hearing Nate's story about the way Alzheimer has impacted his family Wade was easily convinced fundraising for the Alzheimer Society of Canada was a noble cause.
Alzheimer has disproportionately impacted Nate's family and because of that, he was highly motivated to do something to make a difference. In 1999, his loving grandma Florence Cooper passed away after battling with Alzheimer. 14 years later in May 2013, Alzheimer took away his incredible uncle Lanny Cooper away from him. Kind, generous and most of all silly he was the kind of uncle Nate aims to be for his nephew and niece. On April 20th, 2017, his beloved mother (Catherine Cooper) at the young age of 69 years old passed away. He misses her kindness, helping nature, smile and gentle touch every day. Presently, on his mother's side of the family both his aunt Sandy Llord and uncle Lowell Cooper battle with Alzheimer. He has also most recently learned that his uncle Sam on his father's side of the family also suffers from it.
What started as a way to knock an item off their bucket lists and conveniently lined with Canada's 150 Birthday quickly transformed into what we now know as Nate and Wade's Ride to Remember. The Ride to Remember sought to honour the lives of those suffering from Alzheimer and remember the lives of those that Alzheimer has taken away from us.
Beginning on July 3rd, 2017 and ending on August 5th, 2017, the ride took 34 days to complete from start to finish and included no rest days. Both, Nate and Wade made unforgettable memories on the trip, met incredible people and pushed themselves harder than they had ever done before in their lives. In total, the Ride to Remember raised $18,290 for the Alzheimer Society of Canada.