Week 13 – Let the Games begin! (Aug 8-14)

This is going to a fun and unique week, both in my trip and in my life!  I’m in Toronto for the Canadian Transplant Games from the 8-12th.  It’s so great to re-meet the CTA members that have helped me so much along the way and to share my story in a crowd with many stories of their own!  Of course, I am not competing as an athlete but I will be volunteering and doing anything that needs to get done in this huge event!

Aug 8: I spent the day meeting lots of wonderful people at the games.  It was just a lot of taking the whole event in for me.  I had an interview with a reporter from Radio Canada International (international wing of the CBC).  It was for a Chinese audience and I spoke Mandarin on the phone with her, but it was so poor, she ended up only using the English I was using!  Oh dear…  In the evening was the opening ceremony at Nathan Philips Square, just awesome to see the provincial athletes walk out!

 

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Opening ceremonies

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Athletes approaching the stage

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reunited with Sophia, we met at a CTA event in Calgary!

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with Sandra Holdsworth, Ontario CTA manager and planner of the entire games!

Aug 9: Had an early morning session of volunteering at the cycling event at Sunnybrook Park.  I spent the afternoon hanging out with Ryan, who I hadn’t seen since Katimavik!  We did some sight seeing, had some coffee and caught up as best we could for 7+ years.

 

 

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a hug for a fellow team BC member

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a medal for Team BC!

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the awesome athletes

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Ryan and I

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Toronto painting the city green for the Transplant Games!

 

Aug 10: Today was a Family Day and 20km Cycling event.  We all took the ferry to Toronto Island Park for more events (20km cycling, 3 and 5km race walk), a BBQ lunch and exploring the beautiful area!  I cheered on and handed out medals and hugs to all the deserving athletes!  Heading home, we did get stuck at the ferry terminal for awhile.  Just the sheer volume of participants along with the regular crowd.  Whew!

My back tire on my bike had some unfortunate wear in some areas, allowing debris to get inside.  Steven actually came by to deliver a brand new one from his friends!  Thanks to Summit Cycles, I can now safely ride out of Fredericton to finish the rest of my journey, hopefully flat free!  I’ll be sure to get some looks with this carry-on :)

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early in the morning, waiting for the ferry

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catching sunrise from the ferry terminal

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Cyclists ready to go!

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Toronto Skyline from Toronto Island Park

Thank you Summit Cycle! :)

Thank you Summit Cycle! :)

Aug 11: Finished all my volunteering duties today.  It was a relax and recovery day.  Spent most of the afternoon working on a slideshow presentation to present at tonight’s AGM.  It was really cool to show off pictures of all the places I had been and the people I had met.  If you’ve been following this blog and social media, you’ve seen most of the photos :)  I also had a short interview with Cathy from CCTV4, a news channel located in China.  We made plans to have a video shoot and in-person talk the next day.  At the AGM dinner, I finally Helene Campbell, who had a successful organ donor campaign called “A Lung Story”.  She even appeared on the Ellen show!  The presentation went well, but there were many speakers all with great stories of their own.  You just had to be there! (CCTV Interview Video)

Athletes!

Athletes!

 

Aubrey Goldstein, president of the CTA

Aubrey Goldstein, president of the CTA

Helene Campbell and I

Helene Campbell and I

 

Aug 12: Early morning start today.  I was all packed, headed down for my last breakfast in Toronto, and waited for Cathy to come down and meet me for the interview.  She luckily gave me a ride to the pedestrian tunnel which I took to the airport. As the plane was landing, I could see it was drizzling but was ready to head to the taxi line to get a ride back to Tom’s.  To my surprise, Sue and Jade were waiting for me at the airport!  After getting my things packed up again, I went for a visit down to the Radical Edge bike shop to a little tune-up and clean.  I said my goodbyes to my basement-mate Clinton as he wouldn’t be around to see me off tomorrow.  After a yummy dinner with Tom and his family, I got some well-needed sleep.  It’s time to get back on the road!

Goodbye, TO!

Goodbye, TO!

off and away

off and away

Spa day for the bike

Spa day for the bike (new tire courtesy of Summit Cycles in Toronto!)

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another homecooked meal :)

 

Aug 13: 86 km to Coles Island, NB.  Breakfast and goodbyes were the first order of business.  Tom’s family helped me so much since I met up with them, I couldn’t and can’t thank them enough!  They also had packed my bags full of food for the ride to come.  There was a 80km stretch between Moncton and Fredericton where there is not civilization.  I crossed a bridge to get North of Fredericton and took the nice quiet Route 105 onwards to Jemseg and Coles Island, my destination for the night.  I don’t miss the Trans Canada highway at all!  Was able to make it to the campsite in good time; easing back into the saddle!  Thanks to Leslie and Cameron at TNT Campground in Coles Island!

 

Farewell with Jade, Jasmine, Serena, Susan and Tom!

Farewell with Jade, Jasmine, Serena, Susan and Tom!

St John River

St John River

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crossing the St John River to hit Route 105

Beware...piranha plants?

Beware…piranha plants?

Young's Cove One stop store - last bit of civilization for 80km (but only 9km from my campsite for the night)

Young’s Cove One stop store – last bit of civilization for 80km (but only 9km from my campsite for the night)

 

 

Aug 14: 97 km to Moncton, NB.  The rain came to meet me today and keep me honest.  Pretty uneventful route today (not complaining, I still remember what Ontario was like!).  I stopped by a post office to eat lunch and a couple approached me (Melissa and Bob) and asked what I was doing.  Great chat and they left with a donation too!  Thank you!

I made it to Monica and Sharon’s place aroud 8pm just in time to find out all my batteries were dead!  Phone, trip computer, all of it.  Hence, I don’t have many photos of the day.  Thank you Monica and Sharon for hosting me and thanks Johnathan for connecting us! :)

leaving TNT Campground

leaving TNT Campground

Moncton!

Moncton!

 

Weekly Total: 183km

Grand Total: 6741km

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