The Jim Jutte VE3JNJ Story… Air for All of US – 2003
Sept 4 2003
Doing what you can do for the air that you BREATHE...
Jim Jütte was back at it again. The second year running, he rolled on Ontario roads to deliver the message about air quality in southwestern Ontario. Jim crossed the province to drive home the point that this entire region has the ability to clean its own air inside and out and make it healthy for us all to breathe.
Jim cycled from Windsor to Ottawa via Chatham, London, Woodstocke, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge, Brantford, Simcoe, Port Dover, Hamilton, Toronto, Oshawa, Belleville and all the way east to Cornwall and then back, to Ottawa.
Part way through his journey Jim received a message through the ARES Ontario group from his wife reporting that his grandfather had unexpectedly passed away. Because of the death of his grandfather, Jim modified his schedule so he can return as quickly as possible to be with family.
With Amateur Radio Operators (ARES) as communications support Jim completed his modified “Clean Air for All” 2003 event with one final interview with CTV, he packed up and headed home.
When asked why, Jim responded “In a nutshell, while on the Cycling for Children ride in 2001, I noticed that the air I grew up with, was not the same that my children would grow up with. From Ottawa to Owen Sound and southward, the sky remained yellow-brown. My lungs were burning throughout the province, something that did not occur in other areas of the country…. and I vowed to try to do something about it”.
Jim didn’t train specifically for his cross-province ride, but says he’s in sufficiently good condition that he can handle the trip.
“I keep in good enough shape so I won’t hurt anything,” he said.
He cycles about 80 kilometres a day when there’s a tailwind, about 60 when there’s a headwind. At night, he camps wherever he finds himself, unpacking the tent and sleeping bag tucked into his trailer.
“The nice thing is that most churches don’t refuse people,” he said. Jim hopes to make the bike trek an annual affair.
Jim’s Final Comments & Special Thanks
I apologize for my silence towards the end of the ride. By now most or all of you are aware of the issues related to my brother Michael’s cancer diagnosis two days before the ride. You are also aware of my grandfather’s passing unexpectedly on Monday. I wanted to thank the ARES Ontario Group in particular for your warm words of encouragement and helping to spread the word about air quality, which I hope will make our word a nicer place to live over time.
I wanted to recognize and send special thanks to several people who, without their help, I would have had a much more difficult time: First, Ken Dobson, VA3DDB for all his technical and operational support. I would have had to stop the ride two days earlier were he not able to drive me home. Bob Sherwin of CHML. He calls me a “hometown hero”, but the real hero is Bob. He not only makes you feel important and good about what you’re doing but he brings it to life for his community. Tim Symons of CKPC. Tim, like Bob is very concerned about activities that go on in the community and has constantly supported Ken and my efforts. Of course, my wife, partner and best friend Nancy. Her mix of support and caution flags keeps me on the straight and narrow. Jo Escalderon, who with all her own personal commitments still managed to find the time to relay messages for me and from time to time send out emails too. Patrick McConnell, who in spite of my many scheduling changes within a single day, managed to bear with me and still get the story to Guelph, where my father lives.
Simcoe’s CD 106.7 and the Reformer… both of who took time at the drop of a hat to help out. And now, I return to Simcoe on very different terms today. CHTV, once again, there to capture the story… I thought it best not to trouble them on my arrival at 0130 in the morning… but they were there like others with little or no notice to bring the message of Air Quality to Hamiltonians.
City TV/CP24 – I think it must be a pre-requisite to be an excited person. I have been covered by CP 24 everytime I touch Toronto. I would have thought that they had seen everything and yet, they get excited everytime. Thanks for making me feel like my work is making a difference.
CJOH News – Talk about no notice at all. You folks got almost nothing and together we did a professional job of informing the Nation’s capital about what it means to breathe clean air inside and outside. Thank you so much for helping.
Thank you again to the others on this list… I truly appreciate your assistance. If there is anything I can ever do to make your lives easier, please let me know. You are a wonderful group of people and I appreciated every moment you provided. Last but not least, I would like to thank a group of very dedicated amateur radio operators who worked for the most part in the background. Some however like Ken, physically came out and assisted me for example when it became dark, or if I needed a place to stay.
I thank you all… We’ll be in touch, but now I need to spend a few days with my family.
73 & Cheers