See the Confederation Trail through this 71-year-old Islander's cycling videos

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Paul Gunn from Charlottetown has been cycling for almost his entire life.  (Submitted by Paul Gunn - image credit)
Paul Gunn from Charlottetown has been cycling for almost his entire life. (Submitted by Paul Gunn - image credit)

Paul Gunn has biked across Cuba, travelled to Italy and visited other countries across Europe, but one of his favourite places to spend time is right here on Prince Edward Island.

Throughout this summer, the 71-year-old Islander is biking the entire Confederation Trail — his fifth time doing so — and making videos of his rides.

"I really want to share this trail with others who would never venture out to see the whole trail," said Gunn, who lives in Charlottetown.

"We should all be out there making full use of it."

Gunn got the idea to make the videos after his family bought him an indoor cycling bike in January for his birthday. Gunn used to attend an indoor cycling class in Charlottetown, but it hasn't been running throughout the pandemic.

"I started looking for videos to cycle by at home," he said.

After watching videos of cyclists travelling along trails in Europe, Gunn thought it might be a good idea to do a cycling video series in P.E.I. So he bought a GoPro camera, taught himself some video editing and, as Gunn said, "the rest is history."

'Something to do'

Gunn hopes his videos will be watched by people using exercise bikes at home or cyclists looking to visit the Island.

"This could be something that they might want to look at first and get an idea what sections of the trail might be fun to venture out on."

The cycling videos are keeping Gunn — also the owner of Grandpa's Antique Photo Studio in Cavendish — busy while the shop is closed for a second consecutive summer because of the pandemic.

"It's giving me something to do," he said. "And it's good exercise."

About the fact that he's 71 and an avid cyclist, Gunn said he's not unique.

"It's surprising. There's a number of us old guys out here on bikes," he said.

'Get out there and see that trail'

Gunn described himself as a "big fan" of the Confederation Trail.

Submitted by Paul Gunn
Submitted by Paul Gunn

"One of the real advantages of our trail [is] that it is very bicycle friendly in that you're not going up really steep grades. There are countless bridges throughout the province on the trail and just beautiful streams flowing underneath," said Gunn.

"I can't say enough about [it], you know. People should get out there and see that trail for themselves."

Gunn has made nine videos so far that he's posted on his YouTube page since June. He's divided the project into sections of the Confederation Trail that take between 60 and 90 minutes to bike. So far his videos show parts of the trail from York to Mount Stewart, Tignish to Alberton, Summerside to Kensington and more.

"I venture out maybe once or twice, sometimes three times a week if the weather's good, to different spots on the trail and start my bike in one direction," said Gunn.

Gunn said he's already completed about two thirds of the Confederation Trail in his videos, and he hopes to finish the project sometime in August. He said he may continue making videos for his series in the fall.

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