CORNWALL, Ontario - Cycling is all about putting one foot in front of the other - and Martin Lacelle has used both feet to jump into the sport with gusto.
The Hawkesbury native, who now calls Cornwall home, has returned from his latest cycling exploit - a 1,400 km jaunt through the rolling hills of the United Kingdom as part of a London to Edinburgh race.
The Ecole Secondaire la Citadelle teacher's hope was to complete the course in less than 80 hours, and he succeeded by finishing in about 76. He said he was the 15th person out of 1,000 to cross the finish line and believes his time was good enough for the top 10.
His love affair with cycling began some eight years ago when a university friend challenged him to take part in a long-distance ride in Toronto.
It's been all downhill from there - with plenty of uphill climbs from a bicycle seat to boot.
"If you don't do some of these long-distance rides, you don't know how your body is going to react," he said about the London event. "Mentally it was great - but physically I had some sores."
Lacelle's passion for cycling is evident by the commitment he has displayed during other events. He was part of a three-team group that cycled across Canada in 2010 that raised $25,000 for children afflicted with cancer. Each group notched about 200 km a day for 15 days.
He also cycled 1,200 km during an event in Paris, France.
The biggest difference about the most recent long-distance course in England?
"Riding on the left side," he said with a chuckle. "A lot of the time I was in a group of riders, so there's always somebody that is next to you, or reminding you.
"But it was something I always had to be aware of."
While the popular Race Across America, a popular summertime event south of the border, has been something Lacelle has kept his eye on for the future, he will likely look to Europe again next summer for a similar experience.