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Week 6! Into The States (June 20-27)

Winnipeg and onwards!  We were advised by cyclists and drivers to avoid Western Ontario until Sault Ste Marie due to the rough terrain, scary traffic, sparse population, animals 10 x my size, and BUGGIES!

 

  • June 20th: 129km, Minnedosa to Portage la Prairie.  Windy windy day, but made it to Marvin and Darlene’s spot just east of Portage la Prairie.  Oh my goodness, what a beautiful awesome home!  Super welcoming and wonderful couple!  The largest bed and breakfast with fresh baked goodies too!
  • June 21st: 70km Winnipeg!  Stayed with Art Brown, a retired Air Force member.  He had so many stories about his own tours and his dog was a ninja-licker!  Of course, there was a delish BBQ waiting for us too!
  • June 22nd: 0km Winnipeg.  Ken Morley from the Manitoba CTA and Chris the manager of the hotel was able to provide 2 nights stay at the Viscount Gort Hotel.  Not only that, we also had some buffet meal vouchers courtesy of Ken!  Totally a day of R&R and FOOD!
  • June 23rd: 0km Winnipeg.  Had a media event at Assiniboine Park which houses a Garden of Life dedicated to organ donors both alive and deceased.  Took a stroll in downtown Winnipeg to enjoy the TD Jazz Festival then some drinks with Sandie Mcdonald, who I hadn’t seen in almost 7 years back in Katimavik!  Good times!
  • June 24th: 40km Ile des Chenes, MB.  We said our goodbyes to Winnipeg and headed southwards.  Got stuck on an awful gravel road when a afternoon thundershower hit us!  Ugh!  Rob and I went to look for shelter and ended up at Len, Beverley, Jessie, Abigail, Gabrielle, Hannah and Gary’s neighborhood.  They all took us in for food and shelter.  Oh man, much appreciated, friends!
  • June 25th: 12km Niverville, MB.  Hmm…more gravel roads.  Not the best for riding on.  We were again taken in by a kind family.  João Luiz, Caroline and their children showed us hospitality and Rob tuned up their bikes!  Fair trade I’d say!  Good timing too cause there was a neighbourhood party that evening with performances and entertainment.  We even got to go up on stage and say our piece :)
  • June 26th: 89km Emerson, MB.  Last stop in Canada for a little bit!  Detours ahead!
  • June 27th: 131km Grand Forks, ND.  Crossing into the States, these roads are really wide!  Long day today, made it to Carl’s house in Grand Forks after some difficulty navigating.  I’m beginning to sound like a broken record but everyone is just so awesome.  The support doesn’t stop at the Canadian border! :)
  • Weekly Total: 469km (checkpoint to checkpoint only).
  • Total: 3249.4km 
Darlene and Marvin in Portage la Prairie

Darlene and Marvin in Portage la Prairie

Sue, Ted(dog) and Art in Winnipeg!

Sue, Ted (dog) and Art in Winnipeg!

media event at Assiniboine Park

media event at Assiniboine Park

Ken Morley (double lung and heart recipient and a member of the Manitoba CTA!

Ken Morley (double lung and heart recipient) a member of the Manitoba CTA!

Garden of Life in Assiniboine Park

Garden of Life in Assiniboine Park

A Winnipeg night on the town with Sandie!

A Winnipeg night on the town with Sandie!

Gravel roads...eck! Rob making the most of the long days though.

Gravel roads…eck! Rob making the most of the long days though.

Len, Jessie, Beverley, Abigail, Gabrielle, Hannah and Gary saving us from a thunderstorm

Len, Jessie, Beverley, Abigail, Gabrielle, Hannah and Gary saving us from a thunderstorm

Niverville neighbourhood party!

Niverville neighbourhood party!

João Luiz and Caroline and crew enjoying the neighbourhood party

João Luiz and Caroline and crew enjoying the neighbourhood party

Carl and co at Grand Forks, ND

Tasha, Rolland, Carl and Ned at Grand Forks, ND

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Week 5! Small Town Hospitality (June 13-19)

Another crazy week, I am behind!!  Don’t forget to follow me on social media to get the real up to date pictures and stories!

  • Mon Jun 13: 89km Saskatoon SK to Viscount SK.  It was painful to leave Kavita and Bruce’s, we had such an amazing time with them.  Can’t wait to see them when they visit Vancouver one day!  However, the road calls and we must answer.  The road was not merciful.  Rob had a broken spoke on the highway and while a police car pulled over to check on us, there wasn’t much he could do.  We walked our bikes to the nearest town, Viscount SK and politely asked if we could use a garage to fix it in order to avoid the bugs (oh my the bugs here!).  While that was being done, I scoped out spots for our tent.  I rang a house’s doorbell and explain to a gentleman, Moe, what had happened and please do not call the authorities on two cyclists putting up a tent in this quiet town!  He said we were welcome to use his washroom and have a shower if we’d like.  Turns out he was the Mayor!  Mayor Moe!  Thanks Mr. Mayor! (or is that Mr. Moe?)
  • Tue Jun 14: 83km to Dafoe SK. Met a wonderful lady, Liz at the 24/7 Travel Centre, and we followed her car to her house where we camped. Sandra the owner at the 24/7 Travel Centre was extremely supportive and generous.  We ended up with a large bag of food leaving their store!
  • Wed Jun 15: 107km to Insinger SK.  We had the wind at our back today!  Unfortunately, that meant lots of bugs in my hair! I ended up in the ghost town of Insinger, SK.  No one lives here but people do come here for work.  I gave a local, Kelly, quite the scare when I poked my nose around looking for camping spots.
  • Thu Jun 16: 68km to Yorkton SK.  Kelly came back in the morning with coworkers Sonya, Wayne, Dylan and Trevor.  Thanks for the company at breakfast!  Headed into Yorkton and got to stay at the Yorkton Fire Protective Services!  Thanks to Brian, Ted, Brittany and Randy for taking us in!
  • Fri Jun 17: 72km to Langenburg  SK.  Had an awesome interview at the firehall with CTV Yorkton.  Then got chauffeured in a fire truck by Neil, Shaun, Seth and Fifer to a radio interview at The Rock 95.8FM!  What an awesome day!  We made it into town and asked for a place to stay at St. Paul’s Anglican Church.  I spoke to pastor Aaron who was so nice, he wanted to promote my cause at the next service.
  • Sat Jun 18: 50km to Binscarth SK.  Woke up and was invited to the Langenburg Pancake Breakfast!  Yuuummyyy! I also got interviewed for at The Four-Town Journal with Bill Johnston.  Happy to learn that there were many registered organ donors in the crowd! :)  We made our way to Binscarth, MB and what luck, came across Uncle Cam and Aunt Linda (relatives of Sandie, my friend from Winnipeg).  We had another wonderful host and another breakfast the next morning.
  • Sun Jun 19: 120km to Minnedosa MB.  Had lunch with our friend Justin, who is actually driving across Canada because he’s starting school in Montreal this September!  So glad we were able to meet for lunch in Shoal Lake, MB.  Justin would later save us again because we couldn’t find any spots in Minnedosa.  He came up to us from Brandon, MB and took us to his friend Vince’s house and his wonderful family!  WHAT ANOTHER WEEK!
  • Weekly Total: 589km (checkpoint to checkpoint only).
  • Total: 2778.4km
Kavita and Bruce in Saskatoon

Kavita and Bruce in Saskatoon

 

24/7 Travel Centre at Dafoe, SK

24/7 Travel Centre at Dafoe, SK

 

Sonya, Wayne, Dylan and Trevor showing me the heavy machinery at Innsinger, SK

Sonya, Wayne, Dylan and Trevor showing me the heavy machinery at Innsinger, SK

Yorkton Fire Protective Services

Yorkton Fire Protective Services

our view at 100ft above the Yorktore Fire Hall!

our view at 100ft above the Yorktore Fire Hall!

Connie Popp and I at the Langenburg Pancake Breakfast!

Connie Popp and I at the Langenburg Pancake Breakfast!

Breakfast with Auntie Linda and Uncle Cam!

Breakfast with Auntie Linda and Uncle Cam!

Vince and his lovely kids in Brandon, MB!

Vince and his lovely kids in Brandon, MB!

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Week 4! Saskatchewan ho! (June 6-12)

Here’s another weekly update crossing Alberta to Saskatchewan!

  • Mon Jun 6: 56km Vermilion AB to Lloydminster SK.  I had interviews with the Meridian Booster, Lloydminster Source and Newcap TV.  Got to goof around with the photographers Drew, Tyler and Geoff too.  I was able to meet Donna from the CTA (and kidney recipient!) and had a meet a greet with Leanne and Larry Sauer in attendance as well.  Leanne is a kidney donor just like me while Larry received a cornea transplant.  Thanks to the Hampton Inn Lloydminster for a comfortable place to rest our legs!
  • Tues Jun 7: 0km stayed with Josh and Sammy in Lloydminster, SK where we had an amazing meal and tuned our bikes.  Sammy even biked with us for half a day on our way out!  Thanks again!
  • Wed Jun 8:  50km took it fairly easy and camped by Halfway Park Camp.
  • Thurs Jun 9: 97km had a pit stop in Delmas, SK at the Delmas Hotel and Restaurant.  Had a couple of adult beverages thanks to Rori, 1 soon became 2, and I don’t know how we ended up with 5 each…while waiting for the headwinds to die down, whew!
  • Fri Jun 10: 140km We had a beautiful beautiful tailwind today! A simple bathroom pit stop somehow turned into a impromptu breakfast and petting session with Dan who invited us into his home in Maymont, SK and his lovely dogs Ruby, Jasper and Sam.  Thank you Dan!  Made it to Saskatoon late but were welcomed by the super lovely Kavita and Bruce.
  • Sat Jun 11: 0km Kavita and Bruce’s daughter Kieren biked across Canada a few years ago and had an amazing experience using warmshowers.org, they wanted to pay it forward.  They were so welcoming and awesome we stayed a few more days, haha!
  • Sun Jun 12: 0km spent the day enjoying Art in the Park 2016 in Ashworth Holmes Park in Saskatoon.  We even saw Kieren’s legendary adventure bus!  She fixed it up and traveled up and down North America!  I think I am getting some ideas for next summer….
  • Weekly Total: 343km (checkpoint to checkpoint only).
  • Total: 2189.4km
Leanne, Donna, and Larry at the Lloydminster Meet and Greet!

Leanne, Donna, and Larry at the Lloydminster Meet and Greet!

Lloydminster actually straddles AB (Left) and SK (Right). Here is the border!

Lloydminster actually straddles AB (Left) and SK (Right). Here is the border!

Chowing down with Josh and Sammy.

Chowing down with Josh and Sammy.

Saying hi to Jackie and Aaron at the Delmas Hotel and Restaurant

Saying hi to Jackie and Aaron at the Delmas Hotel and Restaurant

One of many divine meals and sit downs with Bruce and Kavita.

One of many divine meals and sit downs with Bruce and Kavita.

Kieren's adventure bus! !

Kieren’s adventure bus! !

Just a scenic pit stop. SK weather has been great to us!

Just a scenic pit stop. SK weather has been great to us!

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Week 3! Heart Felt Moments (May 30-June 5)

I have been losing track of the days of the week, maybe because I am having too much fun!  We distinguish ours days by Bike Day or Rest Day!

  • Mon, May 30: 21km Calgary, AB to Chestermere, AB.  More sight seeing!  Stayed at an incredible family’s house and we’ll be casting off tomorrow to our next destination!
  • Tue, May 31: 120km to Drumheller, AB. A city dedicated to the Jurassic times. So many dinosaurs it was hard to keep track!
  • Wed, Jun 1: 70km to 4 kms from Three Hills, AB.  We camped out for the night next to some rowdy folks.  At least they weren’t bears.  Stopped by the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, AB on our way out and explored the scenic route.  Highly recommended!
  • Thu, Jun 2: 115km to Red Deer, AB.  This was the day I had to cheat a little, but if you don’t tell, I won’t either!  Grey hounded it to Edmonton (154km) where I had the opportunity to meet Ron Hahn and Hayley his wife for dinner. Ron Hahn is a kidney recipient that had biked across Canada after receiving a kidney to promote organ donor awareness back in 2014 doing his Spare Parts Tour.  Special thanks to Amanda, Ken, Trevor at Greyhound for everything.  Thank you Susan and Simon for the warm shower!
  • Fri, Jun 3: at the Edmonton Parliament Building to meet up with Edmonton CTV, Global TV, Edmonton Sun and Edmonton Journal for an interview.  Thank you for coming out to support me: (1) Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health, Deputy Premier and MLA of Edmonton-Glenora, Alberta, (2) Tim Wilson, and (3) Don, Al, Elizabeth and Elena from the Edmonton CTA, and (4) Flavia and Emmanuel from Edmonton Kidney Foundation!   A special thank you to Ron and Hayley for the night’s stay at the Four Points Hotel!
  • Sat, Jun 4: I ran errands all day in Edmonton as the Doctor said I had Achilles Tendonitis and should rest until it is healed. Thank you for the warm shower Tyler!
  • Sun, Jun 5: Greyhounded it to Vermilion, AB (~197km).  Had an awesome interview for Vermilion Voice and Vermilion Standard over a BBQ dinner at Susan and Brian Hodges (my Katimavik billet family in 2008)!  Thank you for the wonderful trip down memory lane, tons of food as always and a warm place to stay!
  • Week Total: 677km (checkpoint to checkpoint only)
  • Trip Total: 1846.4km 
Alberta Badlands!

Alberta Badlands!

Breaker. our guard dog in Chestermere, AB is still looking for lunch!

Breaker. our guard dog in Chestermere, AB is still looking for lunch!

Kristy and her lovely family! Thank you for hosting us!

Kristy and her lovely family! Thank you for hosting us!

Hanging out in the Royal Tyrell Museum!

Hanging out in the Royal Tyrell Museum!

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In front of the Alberta Legislature.

In front of the Alberta Legislature.

Angela and Taylor from the Vermilion Voice and Vermilion Standard, respectively

Angela and Taylor from the Vermilion Voice and Vermilion Standard, respectively

Chowing down on dinner with Donna and Grant in Lloydminster

Chowing down on dinner with Donna and Grant in Lloydminster

 

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Week 2! We Have Become Spoiled (May 23-29)

Hello!  I’ve been getting requests to update more often.  I will try my best to do more but don’t forget I have social media links in the top right corner.  Here’s a recap and some pictures from week 2!

  • Mon, May 23: REST DAY in Sicamous!  Greg Kyllo (MLA-Shuswap) even popped in to visit!  It was a great day with exactly 0 km ridden.
  • Tue, May 24: 104km to Canyon Hot Springs, BC stopping in sunny Revelstoke for lunch!  Our first hot day of the trip!  Question of the day: “You’re gonna pedal your little bum all the way to St. John’s Newfoundland!?!”  YEP!
  • Wed, May 25: 113km to Golden, BC.  The second steepest day so far but it was super fast going down after summiting Roger’s Pass.
  • Thur, May 26: 86km to Lake Louise, AB.  Going through Yoho National Park to Banff National Park was beautiful!  The hardest climb of the whole trip was right after the Visitor’s Centre.  Phew!  Had a great dinner at the hidden Stables Pub, but also after a 4km climb from the Lake Louise village up to the Fairmont area!  Thank you for the warm shower and tour around Lake Louise, Sebastian and Jay Jay!
  • Fri, May 27: 83km to Canmore, AB.  A super lovely time with Kristen and Lyle. Amazing feast ready for us as we arrived!  Thank you again!
  • Sat, May 28: 106km to Calgary AB.  Finally in Cowtown!  Got to stay with Kristy Plotsky and her lovely family (and doggy, Breaker!).  Both her and her daughter Shaylynn are successful heart transplant recipient and someone who knows the value of organ donors!
  • Sun, May 29: Calgary, AB.  Some riding around for sights and supplies.  Radio interview with Sabrang Radio 94.7 and it went great!  Once I get a copy, I will upload it here. Keep following me!
  • Week Total: 492km (from checkpoint to checkpoint only).
  • Trip Total: 1169.4km
A visit from Greg Kyllo (MLA-Shuswap)

A visit from Greg Kyllo (MLA-Shuswap)

Glacier National Park, just past Revelstoke

Glacier National Park, just past Revelstoke

Summit of Roger's Pass

Summit of Roger’s Pass

heading into Golden, BC

Heading into Golden, BC

Fairmont Lake Louise

Fairmont Lake Louise

Kristen and Lyle's feast...they even did our laundry and folded it! :O!

Kristen and Lyle’s feast…they even did our laundry and folded it! :O!

saying bye to Kirsten and Lyle in Canmore, AB

Saying bye to Kirsten and Lyle in Canmore, AB

Kristy and her family in Calgary, AB

Kristy, Shaylynn, me, Mackayla, Wade and Rob in Calgary, AB

horsing around at Stampede Park!

Horsing around at Stampede Park!

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First Week, Lets Start it With Some Rain! (May 16-22)

  • Mon, May 16: 89km ride in the sun! Launch Day from Victoria Parliament Building/Mile 0/Pacific Ocean to Vancouver.  A thank you to my friend Yuriy H. and his roommates for a place to crash the evening before.
  • Tue, May 17: 110km ride in the sun to Carla Swope’s (Warmshowers) in Chilliwack BC. Thank you for the wonderful accommodation!
  • Wed, May 18: 96.4km to Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park.
  • Thu, May 19: 98.3km to Spences Bridges in a slight drizzle and quite some headwind, stayed at Jean’s (AirBNB).
  • Fri, May 20: 71km to Juniper Beach Camp Ground in slight drizzle.
  • Sat, May 21: 121km to Chase BC in quite a bit of rain. Ran into Marcus who is also biking to St. John’s Newfoundland on his own! Fully loaded!
  • Sun, May 22: 91.7km to Sicamous Twin Anchors Houseboat Vacations. Met Brad Firth (aka Caribou Legs) running 75km/day to the same final destination. Thank you for your support Twin Anchors!  What an amazing place to rest in!
  • Total: 677.40km (from checkpoint to checkpoint only, site-seeing not included.)
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We encountered quite a bit of rain and sometimes no shoulder headed to Hope, BC. Expecting more of this!

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Hope, BC

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Beautiful mountains and skies going into the BC Rockies!

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The loud Canadian Pacific Railway. I wonder which part great grandpa built?

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Brad Firth, Athlete Marathon Runner (aka Caribou Legs)

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Juniper Beach, BC campgrounds

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Twin Anchors Houseboats, Excelsior I for our 2 nights stay!

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May 16th Launch from BC Legislative Assembly

Today we officially launched our Tour from the BC Legislative Assembly!  At 12 noon, we were joined by elected officials, the Kidney Foundation of BC, and various media outlets.

(L-R) Katrine Conroy (MLA Kootenay West), Mom, Me, Terry Lake (Minister of Health), Adrian Dix (MLA Vancouver Kingsway)

(L-R) Katrine Conroy (MLA Kootenay West), Mom, Me, Terry Lake (Minister of Health), Adrian Dix (MLA Vancouver Kingsway)

Everyone had some very touching and inspiring words to share.  The Kidney Foundation presented me with a Superhero Cape, in line with their newest campaign “Heroes aren’t born, they’re registered”.  Katrine Conroy donated a kidney to her husband 6 years ago, in a 6 recipient paired organ exchange!  Terry Lake was happy to announce that BC had the highest rate of organ donation sign up but still had a long way to go (only 20%!)  After the speeches, we had a literal launch heading down to the Pacific Ocean and Mile 0 on the Trans Canada Highway with Doug Routley (MLA Nanaimo-North Cowichan) riding shotgun!

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Local news links via Canadian Press and Black Press Community News.