NKCR Day 11 – Sept. 16
Echo Bay to Spanish
Woke up to dark but clear skies this morning and cycled in the dark over to the Bucci Family Restaurant for breakfast – just a short ride from where we set up camp for the evening. The breakfast was fantastic – this time there were waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage, perogies, and even chicken in the buffet – so much to choose from.
The temperature this morning was 16 degrees and today’s forecast was fantastic with temperatures reaching the high twenties. After breakfast, the riders went back to their routines of getting ready to ride – tires pumped, water bottles filled and GPS units mounted. Today also included a little cleaning after yesterday’s rain day, baby wipes came out, chains were degreased and re-lubricated and we were ready to hit the road on time for what would be a great day of riding.
Today, we rode for Grant an extremely focused, intelligent, athletic and caring 15 year old boy. In February 2011 his parents received a call to go to the children’s hospital immediately as blood tests showed he had leukemia. He responded well to treatment and his attitude during the whole thing was inspirational. He was in remission within 3 weeks of treatment and was able to attend his grade 9 grad.
Throughout the treatment he was in isolation, due to his weakened immune system, but he managed to stay in touch with friends through Skype and texts. After returning home from camp kindle he began experiencing aches and pains again and on August 15th was diagnosed with AML, which required him to be hospitalized for long periods of time due to the treatment.
He developed breathing problems and was forced into the ICU for two weeks. New bumps were starting to form on his skin and he was diagnosed with a third cancer, skin cancer.
On September 16, 2011 surrounded by family Grant passed away.
Today, there was another girl on our mind as well – Rebecca Schofield. She is a 17 year old girl that lives in New Brunswick, is facing cancer and her prognosis is not good. Despite this devastating news, Becca has one wish …. for people to do random acts of kindness. She has challenged people to be nice to each other.
She can’t do much herself, but her mission is to try and change the world for the better. If you did something, big or small, for someone else, for no other reason than you could, please tell the world about it. For the next 7 days, I challenge YOU to do something nice for someone and post it on social media with the hashtag #Beccatoldmeto – she is following our journey across Canada and would love to see more engagement… what will you do? Let’s give Becca some reasons to smile this week!!!
Today, the weather was fantastic and it was nice to be riding in our basic kits today. The roads meandered through the country-side, included a couple of dirt road sections and then back to highway riding. Like Manitoba roads there isn’t much of a shoulder, so we were hugging the white line for most of the day. Most of the vehicles gave us lots of room, but there always seem to be a couple that force the pass by squeezing the riders… wish the shoulders were wider and the drivers showed a little more patience.
Overall, I wasn’t performing as well as I hoped and nearly got dropped off the back of the peloton a couple of times during the ascents… not sure why. I have been doing better on hills (still not my favourite, but I am embracing the climbs a little more each day), but by the time we reached Blind River (100km) for lunch, I was done… I was holding the team back and was not able to pull at the front of the peloton at all. Definitely was not pulling my weight today. I feel that I am letting the team down – frustrated. That said, what I am experiencing is nothing compared to the battles that these kids are facing and I should really just follow Rule #5 : Harden the F**K up… I will be back in the saddle again tomorrow.
At Blind River, the lunch was hosted by a junior A hockey team (The Blind River Beavers) who are 3 & 0 this season. What an awesome group of guys! The BBQ was fantastic and the rest stop had lots of shade for the riders to cool down as they enjoyed their lunch
Over lunch there were three, unplanned events: 1) Gail, a former national team rider came out to cheer us on and brought us a delicious cake that we had with dinner and a shared a beautifully written letter for this year’s riders, 2) a woman stopped by our lunch location and made a $1,000 donation to our ride – not sure what her name was as she wanted to remain anonymous, but we thanked her for her generous donation, 3) We met Abby, a shy girl that is facing brain cancer. We presented her with an honourary team jersey, met her family, heard her story and kept her in our thoughts as we headed back on the road this afternoon.
The riding day ended in Spanish at the yacht club for showers, a quick swim in the lake and a dinner prepared by our volunteers – they are so good to us! Now we are back on the road of our shuttle to Barrie for the start of our next day, which includes a visit to Sick Kids at the end of the day. I am really looking forward to this visit as I have heard so much about Sick Kids, but have never visited the facility.
Over the next couple of days, I also hope to connect with some of my riding friends from Ontario – perhaps even have a chance to ride with them on the ride alongs that are planned…
If you’d like to get a better idea of what this experience is like, here are some links to videos and photos that are being put together by Olya as we travel – you should subscribe to her YouTube channel when you get a chance. She is very talented and is definitely embracing her time with our wheel family… She is a great addition to our group!
Day 1: https://photos.app.goo.gl/qXTxlbULuoqG1pz72
Day 2: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Qm5wYOIJC45UCMDW2
Day 3: https://photos.app.goo.gl/360Ak8mcNCK4z40w1
Day 4: https://photos.app.goo.gl/daYP1Vh0OSwmgfQF3
Day 5: https://photos.app.goo.gl/b0DFAy2iu4s9Tw3y1
Day 6: https://photos.app.goo.gl/v5Nbv7GFJ6EgysvZ2
Day 7: https://photos.app.goo.gl/rFDq6ZimvBdRcEHu1
Day 8: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Fes2HS2EDpeDpxc32
Day 9: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Mrd7DDgUPYo4DpSc2
Day 1: https://youtu.be/n46xcoPgB6k
Day 2: https://youtu.be/CjtBzYJlmJ4
Day 3: https://youtu.be/Sl_n8ftAKKI
Day 4: https://youtu.be/BA90X36vxkE
Day 5: https://youtu.be/NMsDbdMY9iQ
Day 6: https://youtu.be/cM1REBgcUWg