SUDBURY -- It's a journey many Canadians have been called to do, travelling across the country raising awareness and money for meaningful causes.

Jake Musgrave is a 23-year-old from British Columbia who embarked on a 30-day cross-country cycling tour, but with a twist. He is wearing a facemask during the 6,000 km trek to Halifax, N.S.

It is a personal journey, in memory of his father, Randy, who passed away from leukemia when Jake was just eight-years-old.

Dubbed Randy's Ride, Musgrave is raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada, which funds blood cancer research.

He has surpassed his original goal of $10,000, having raised over $17,000 at the time of publication, so he is also raising money now for COVID-19 relief efforts.

By cycling in his mask during a pandemic, he is hoping to normalize mask-wearing.

"Obviously, losing your father is a traumatic experience," said Musgrave. "And I just believe that you can put on a mask and you can potentially save someone's life from getting this horrible traumatic disease of COVID-19. And it's as simple as just putting on a mask. You know, you're gone, you're going out. You get your phone, you get your wallet, you get your keys, and just grab a mask with you as well wherever you go."

Musgrave said he got his first road bike when he was in the first year of university and that is when his love for cycling began.

Prior to this cross-Canada tour, Musgrave's longest ride was from Vancouver to Whistler, about a 120 km.

"Honestly, I have never done a ride like this before in my life," said Musgrave. "This has been a lot more than what I have expected."

He said on his slowest day, he travelled 170 km. Monday, Day 19 of his journey, Musgrave and his three-person support team following him in a vehicle pulling a trailer rolled into northern Ontario after 10 hours and 186 km.

Because he is not taking any rest days, to keep his energy up, he said he is eating lots of carbs.

"I'm definitely eating lots of spaghetti and lots of protein shakes to just keep up the energy and making sure I get my nutrition with fruits and veggies as well," said Musgrave.  

He is riding his specialized Tarmac 2020 road bike and has a Cannondale as a backup in case he needs it. The facemask he is wearing is from Be Ultimate and is made of two-ply polyester.

Mental focus is extremely during those long hours on the bike, he says.

"It's all about just keeping positive energy and just making sure that you're focused in the brain. It gets hard definitely at times to focus, and never get into that low point because when you're on a low, it can be very hard and it can feel like time is going on forever. So, you just always got to keep positive and just think of thoughts that make you happy and just keep grinding out the hours."

 His favourite place he has been on his journey is Fernie, B.C.

"I've never been up there and it was absolutely gorgeous. The mountain ranges were incredible and that is that it is a gorgeous area," said Musgrave.

The most challenging part so far has been the 25-20 km/h headwinds in the Prairies.

Ultimately, he hopes others can commit to following public health guidelines and wear a mask when out around others.

"If I can ride across Canada with a mask, I would hope that others can wear a mask as much as possible in public places," Musgrave said.