The team who will travel to Mexico’s Baja-California Peninsula for the Baja 1000 in November: (from left) Kevin Pigeon

The team who will travel to Mexico’s Baja-California Peninsula for the Baja 1000 in November: (from left) Kevin Pigeon

Baja bound: These Guys aim big

Down the road from now, perhaps for many years, Kane Fraser hopes what he and his team do this coming November will be remembered.

Down the road from now, perhaps for many years, Kane Fraser hopes what he and his team do this coming November will be remembered.

A husband, a father of four, a chartered accountant, an outdoorsman and a friend to many, Fraser became paralyzed from the waist down when a car accident 13 years ago changed his life forever.

Now, receiving motivation from another Williams Lake legend, Rick Hansen, the 37-year-old hopes to use his disability to inspire possibilities.

Fraser, along with a team of friends and professionals, will race this year’s Baja 1000, one of the most dangerous off-road races in the world held annually at Mexico’s Baja-California Peninsula.

Coinciding with Hansen’s 25th anniversary of his Man in Motion World Tour, Fraser also hopes to raise $25,000 for the Rick Hansen Foundation — $1,000 for every year that has passed since, from one “small-town boy” to another.

Additionally Fraser wants to create awareness of people with disabilities, as well as inspire at least one person with a disability to achieve a goal they didn’t think was possible.

But it wasn’t always going to be like this.

Fraser said it was December of last year, while recovering from a broken femur following a sledding accident, when he and his wife, Cara Fraser, decided it would be best for the family if he slowed down a bit.

The slowing down, however, didn’t last long.

“Just after we talked about that I was recovering on the couch watching Dust to Glory (a documentary about the Baja 1000) when I decided, I’ve got to race the Baja,” he said. “She immediately said no, and wasn’t too keen on the idea, at all.”

One month earlier, on Nov. 20, Fraser had the opportunity to go sturgeon fishing with Hansen, coincidentally his sister-in-law’s uncle, on the Fraser River.

“That week he’d been in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, and I thought it was pretty good of him to take us fishing with him,” Fraser said.

“He started telling us about the 25th anniversary tour, which was quite interesting.”

Enter Heino Seibert, one of Fraser’s close friends and owner of Spectra Power Sports Ltd. in Williams Lake.

“I said, ‘Heino, I’d like to race the Baja,’” Fraser said. “Heino said, ‘Sounds like an idea to me. How can we help?’

“A couple of weeks later my wife asked again if I was serious about doing this. We talked about doing the fundraiser for the Rick Hansen Foundation and after that she was on board.”

From there, Fraser and Seibert assembled a team of 11 more individuals of varying backgrounds and skill sets who will travel with them to Mexico for the race.

First, they decided on a vehicle to race in Mexico — the Polaris RZR 900 XP, a racing all-terrain vehicle.

Now, Heino, Rick Seibert and a few other team members are busy making modifications, such as rebuilding the vehicle’s frame, adding new lights, installing hand controls and installing a radio communication system, for examples, to ensure the unit meets the Baja 1000 sanctioning body’s (SCORE) safety code.

The work, all parties say, hasn’t been easy and will continue to be time consuming. To date, more than 200 hours of work has been put into the unit, with countless more work still to be done.

In the Baja 1000, vehicles of all types are set loose on the sand-covered course, which is around 1,000 miles and takes about 30 hours to complete with a team of alternating drivers. Fraser’s team will be entered in the Class 18 — Sportsman UTV class.

Fraser, along with Heino, will be the primary driver and co-driver. Rick Seibert, Paul Marcotte and Roger Patenaude will drive as back up drivers.

“One thing I decided early on, finishing the race means winning the race to me,” Fraser said. “I do not need to beat anyone. I can cross dead last as long as I at least cross in the allotted time and in one piece.

“As far as we know no paraplegic has ever started or finished the Baja 1000.”

The team name chosen, These Guys, speaks volumes about what they hope to accomplish, he said.

“I would like people to tell a story about ‘These Guys’ who did the Baja 1000 without ever entering any other off road race and, oh yeah, the driver was in a wheelchair, a paraplegic,” Fraser said. “This might seem insignificant, but I am hoping other disabled people will hear this … and they will draw strength from the story.”

If anyone is interested in helping Fraser and his team reach their goal of raising $25,000 there are two ways to do so.

First, you can visit the website at to donate directly to the Rick Hansen Foundation by clicking donate at the top of the page. Or you can pledge the team $1 for every mile they travel during the race.

“The greatest compliment I have received from my friends, colleagues and clients is, ‘We often forget you are in a wheelchair,’” Fraser said.

“I would like other disabled people to receive this as well.”

Just Posted

An official naming ceremony for the Nekw7usem Bridge connecting the RC Cotton Trail to Scout Island will take place Monday, May 17 at noon. (Patrick Davies file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
City, WLFN hosting naming ceremony for Nekw7usem Bridge in Williams Lake

The pedestrian bridge connects the RC Cotton Trail to Scout Island

Patricia Froberg (from left), Pat Mitchell and Dorothy Ouellette enjoy lunch prepared by members of the Old Age Pensioners Organization for St. Patrick’s Day Wednesday afternoon. Today, May 14, the Old Age Pensioners Organization Branch 93 and the Seniors Activity Centre are hosting an Old Fashioned Drive In lunch with car hop service at the SAC parking lot from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Old Fashioned Drive In Lunch on menu at seniors centre today, May 14

From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., swing on by the SAC parking lot for an Old Fashioned Drive In lunch

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

(File photo)
Firearms investigation on Winger Road the result of increased gang activity: RCMP

When police attempted to stop a vehicle, it sped away

Shearwater is located in the Great Bear Rainforest on the West Coast of B.C. (Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association photo)
Heiltsuk Nation buys historic Shearwater Resort and Marina

Chief Marilyn Slett said Heiltsuk Nation has always valued its relationship with the company

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Superintendent Aaron Paradis, community services officer with the Surrey RCMP, during a media availability about a recent drug bust in Port Coquitlam. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Police seize 13 million ‘potentially fatal doses’ of pure fentanyl at B.C. drug lab

The evidence was seized at large, illicit drug manufacturing site in Port Coquitlam

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth debates the province’s latest measure to control crime, March 10, 2021. The legislation allows police to impound vehicles used to transport weapons and further restricts sale of vehicle and body armour. (B.C. legislature video)
B.C. seeking ways to ‘name and shame’ gangsters, minister says

Mike Farnworth appeals to family members to talk to police

Jonathan Prest had to climb way up to the top of a dead red cedar tree to rescue a terrified cat, but he made it up and down successfully. (Facebook photos)
Tree cutter rescues cat stuck 100 feet up a dead and dried-out cedar

Jonathan Prest put himself in extreme peril to get a terrified cat out of a dangerous situation

The Greater Victoria School District continues to face backlash over its wording and approach to Indigenous learners in its 2021-2022 budget talks. (Black Press Media file photo)
School district’s approach to Indigenous learners leaves Victoria teachers ‘disgusted’

Backlash grows over ‘pattern of colonial thinking permeating the leadership’

Italian-Canadian prisoners at the Kananaskis prisoner of war camp in Alberta. (University of Calgary/Contributed)
Italian moved to Okanagan with hope; he ended up being sent to a WWII internment camp

Raymond Lenzi shares his grandfather’s story ahead of Canada’s planned formal apology to Italian-Canadians

Then-minister Rich Coleman, escorted by Victoria Police, makes his way to the east wing amid a protest blocking the legislature entrances before the throne speech in Victoria, B.C., Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. money laundering inquiry testimony ends today with reappearance of Rich Coleman

Responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, Coleman been recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month

Most Read