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Hi friends, family and strangers,

Thank you for continuing to check this site, and our apologies for any confusion as to why there are no new posts.

 We have actually migrated all our content over to http://www.outliveyourself.ca and continue to post daily about Cayse’s journey under the ‘Our Journey’ section.  

Thank you for continuing to follow along and spread the message about the important cause of organ and tissue donation. 

Cheers, 

The Outlive Yourself Team 

Long Hard Ride

I left Blind River yesterday after a comfy sleep in my tent thanks to the leaf mattress courtesy of mother nature.  My plan was to originally to make it as close as possible to North Bay for the evening, but the plans changed slightly after I got in touch with my step mom Suzanne Kelly. She let me know that she had spoken to some people she knew in the North Bay area and had spoken to the Holiday Inn Express and they had offered to put me up for the night. As comfy as my leaf bed was it doesn’t quite beat out having a hot shower and plumbing. So I made up my mind that I would make it to North Bay and a soft bed. The only thing that stood between me and my goal was 300 kilometres and humid weather.

Kelty

My ride was full of surprises along the way. One was running into the riders from the Kelty Foundation just outside of Espanola. The group had started their ride across Canada May 4th from Whistler, B.C., to raise awareness and money for mental health and have raised a significant amount of money. The riders are the parents and cousins of a young man named Kelty Patrick Dennehy who took his own life after struggling with mental illness. They were very supportive of my journey and  the Outlive Yourself story and will be donating to the http://www.give2live.ca campaign to help out families of organ transplant patients. It was great to meet some fellow riders across Canada and share our motivations for our ride.

I also ran into a group of six motorcyclists at the convenience store along the way. I got to talking to them about organ donation and my bike ride across Canada and they were receptive to my story. It turned out that one of the bikers had a son had been a recipient of an organ. The biker  gave $20 toward the Give2Live Campaign, It was generosity when least expected, I just regret that I didn’t have a chance to snap a photo.

My next surprise along the way was my team reaching out to me about a chance to talk to the Sudbury Star. They had reached out to us through our twitter handle (@OutliveCanada) and wanted to take a picture with me and write a story.  Any chance to talk with media gives me a further platform to spread the word on Organ Donation. It did not hurt either that I was already planning on stopping in Sudbury to grab some lunch, and it gave me a chance to visit the Big Nickel in Sudbury as well.

big nickel

After completing the interview I made phenomenal time on my bike. I covered the 140 kilometers from the Big Nickel to the North Bay in five hours. Knowing that a room was waiting for me at the Holiday Inn in North Bay was definitely some extra motivation to complete the last few grueling kilometers. I got into North Bay at around 10:00 PM and was more or less ready to collapse from exhaustion. It was the first time on my trip that I had to use the light on my bike.  I usually do a nightly update call with my team who help me coordinate all of the behind the scenes for me. Tonight I kept it short and sweet and told them we would touch base in the morning to go over any details that needed to be sorted out.   I ordered a large pizza, took a hot shower, and went right to bed.  Between the 300 kilometers and humidity the ride was the toughest yet. The next stop will be in Gravenhurst before I make it to Toronto. I am really looking forward to seeing some familiar faces.

brsudbury
Total KM Biked :4550KM

Easy Riding

I started my ride late yesterday so I wasn’t able to cover a ton of distance. It was 2 pm by the time I woke up and had my bike repaired and road ready again. The last two days of riding have been pretty easy.

The riding since I have gotten to Ontario has been pretty easy for the most part. The terrain and weather have not been as challenging here as they were in other provinces. I did have a few days of intense humidity, but over all I have seen minimal rain and head winds. When you are biking up to 300 kilometres a day, the little things end up making a really big difference.

I camped out just outside of Blind River last night putting around another 150 kilometres behind me and putting me within striking distance of North Bay. I hope to have a big day on the bike tomorrow and out around 300 kn behind me.

When I went to set up my tent last night I headed down a trail a bit off of the road and off the trail  To my surprise I came upon a massive pile of leaves. I am not sure where it came from, but it guaranteed me  the most comfortable sleep in a tent ever. Sometimes its the little things that make a big difference. The terrain was otherwise pretty rocky around the area where I was camping so I really lucked out on the leaves.

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Who needs a mattress?

 

My team said they weren’t able to drum up any media opportunities in Sault Ste. Marie so I am hoping that we may be more successful in Sudbury and North Bay.  Because I am on a bike and a lot of things can happen in a given day it is hard for me to project where I will end up on any given night, let alone more than a few days in advance. My teams have been great about generating opportunities for me to speak to the press despite the short lead times I sometimes provide them.

I hope to be in the Barrie area by Thursday, and Toronto by Friday night where I am planning on at least staying through the weekend.  Ottawa will at the very least take me three leisurely days of riding after that although my teams are hoping that I can stretch out my trip between Toronto and Ottawa a bit to capitalize on any media opportunities along the way.

Over all Ontario has been less hills, more people, more civilization, more farms, and the same amount of mosquitoes, if not more. I hate mosquitos, and they are really started to drive me nuts. They seem to be immune to my insect repellant.  Hopefully the bigger cities I will be in for the next few days will provide me with a break

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Total KM Biked: 4,384 KM

Cheers

Cayse

Lost and Found Part II

The Journey from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie was not a bad ride despite the lack of cell phone reception. I decided to bike Highway 17 along the route and had beautiful and varied scenery, as varied as the rocks, water and trees of Northern Ontario could get.

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3 straight days of roadside camping #livingthegoodlife

At one point while I was riding a truck passed by me before pulling over and two people stepped out of their vehicle. Much to my surprise the two people stepping out of the truck were my friends Brendan and Carly.

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My friends Brendan and Carly met up with me on Highway 17. What a great surprise.

They were on their way back to the East coast from teaching in Alberta and had decided to take Highway 17 on their route home. Partially they took the ride for the beautiful scenery, and the small chance they would run into me.  It was one of those occurrences that you are never quite sure will happen when you discuss them.  It was definitely one of the more uplifting occurrences on a journey across Canada that has been filled with a lot of positivity.  I had planned to try and meet with Brenda and Carly on the East Coast, so it looks like I may be seeing them twice on my cross country ride.

My total ride over the last couple days covered just over 700 kilometres in mostly positive conditions.  There was some rain, hills and a little bit of a head wind, but the elements were much milder than the worst that I faced on the trip. There were a ton of bugs during my camping, and the mosquitoes were absolutely crazy. Despite being out of cell phone range for a few days I wasn’t too worried about my ride. The highways have enough traffic that I knew that I would be able to ask for help if I needed it.  I had to purify my own water along the way since there wasn’t enough many rest stops available along the way.

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One of the biggest challenges for me was making sure my bike made it to the Soo in one piece. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to make it to the next shop that could service my bike.  There aren’t many bike shops in that area of Northern Ontario. I rode a couple hundred kilometres on three broken spokes. The issue with the broken spokes was that each spoke that breaks puts more pressure on the remaining spokes. This makes them more susceptible to breaking. It also made the ride a bit wobbly as well.

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I got my bike a little TLC in the Soo.

My bike is a beast but definitely needed a little TLC today which is why I took it by a local bike shop in Sault Ste. Marie. Getting my spokes repaired, grabbing some extra tubes for my tires, and should be good to go for another couple thousand kilometres.

When my I emerged from the woods I called my teams to find out if there was still a spot available for me to sleep in Sault Ste. Marie.

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A big thanks to my gracious host Jack and Merle

Jeff Donald, a transplant recipient (liver, 2006) reached out to my teams about providing me a place to stay with his parents, Jack and Merle in Sualt Ste. Marie.  My teams reached out to Jack shortly after being in touch with me and he was still happy to host despite the short notice.

Jack and Merle were super nice people, and very gracious hosts. They had people over to their place for Canada Day including three families whose children had received organ donations.  They allowed me to talk to everyone about my ride, and the importance of organ donation, and the people in attendance had told me that they would sign up. The rest of the day was spent eating, and enjoying the Jack and Merle’s hospitality and their Canada Day Celebrations.

TBSoo

Total KM Biked: 4,236 KM

 

Cheers Cayse

Lost and Found

 

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Me in Thunder Bay visiting the Terry Fox Statue

It only took me three days, but I made it through the cellular signal dead zone that is known as Northern Ontario. The last update on my blog had me leaving Thunder Bay a couple of days ago. I advised my teams I was heading to Terrace Bay, followed by Wawa, Ontario over the following two days. I had told my team that cell signals were sketchy at best in the area, and that would seem to have been a bit of an understatement (… at least for Telus’s network)

There was about a three day period where I was unable to get a cell signal, which made the Outlive Yourself team nervous. I usually touch base with them a few times a day to update them on my ride, to see if there are any media opportunities available, confirm my route, and see if they were able to assist me in finding a place to stay.  I had tried to stop at a few restaurants along the way to use their wifi but luck didn’t seem to be on my side with the internet not working for one reason or another anywhere I stopped.

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Unfortunately the gorgeous view, and wide open skies did not help me with cell phone reception. But I still enjoyed the view

After not hearing from me for about 55 hours my teams called the OPP and Thunder Bay police to let them know that I may have been potentially missing somewhere in Northern Ontario.  The last time they had any communication with me was Friday morning, from there it was radio silence until I was about 60 kilometres outside of Sault Ste. Marie on mid-day Monday.  That covered about four days, and 700 kilometres of riding.

When I was finally able to get cell signal the first thing I did was touch base with my team to let them know that I was alright, and had continued to make progress and put kilometres behind me. They were happy to hear from me, as they had started discussing having someone come up to Northern Ontario to start searching for me if they hadn’t heard from me by Monday night. They did let me know that they potentially had a place for me to stay in Sault Ste. Marie but would have touch base with the family who had offered to host me to ensure that I still had a place to stay for the evening.  My next step was to return the voicemail that the OPP had left for me on my cell.

Obviously with 3 days out of contact there is a lot to share with all of the people who are following my blog. Stay tuned later today, for more details about my last couple days of riding.

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Being out of the cell phone reception was more stressful for the Outlive Yourself team than it was for me. I even managed to stop by the beach for a little bit

 

Cheers

Cayse

Halfway Home

Yesterday was a pretty uneventful day on the road as I continued to make my way towards Thunder Bay. I woke up in Upsala to an army of mosquitoes(Good ol’ Norther Ontario) waiting for me outside of my tent and grabbed a hearty breakfast. It rained on me a few times, but I didnt’t have to deal with any extreme weather yesterday while I covered a casual 150+ kilometres. I was able to make it to Thunder Bay just before dinner time. Which means I have now officially made it to the halfway point of my solo bike ride across Canada.

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Apparently these mosquitoes want to be friends

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My Breakfast of Champions

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My timing couldn’t have been better as I had made dinner plans for the evening. First I met up with Eric Westelaken who is a good friend of my sister. They attended Lakehead together, and Eric was kind enough to host me for the night, which sure beats roadside camping.

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My gracious host Eric Westelaken

 After meeting up with Eric, it was on to my dinner plans. I had arranged to meet up with a gentleman named Dale Shippam.Dale was the recipient of a heart transplant but his story differs from what you would expect from most organ donor recipients. Dale has a real carpe diem attitude, and has definitely made the most of his second chance at life.

Dale and I discussed his experiences about what it was like to be waiting for a heart transplant, the process he had to go through on his road to recovery and how he got his life back to normal. For Dale, normal was resuming his job working as a firefighter. Additionally he started to go on a variety of trips with his transplant doctor, Dr. Heather Ross. Dale has been to Nepal and the North Pole through Test Your Limits. He travelled to the South Pole in the spring with Dr. Ross, and Matt’s Iron ring, becoming the first transplant recipient to reach out the South Pole.

Dale Shippam at the South Pole

Dale talked to me about how special Matt must have been to grab Dr. Ross’ attention and make such an impact on her. Dr. Ross acts as the transplant doctor for many patients waiting for new hearts. I’d have to agree that Matt was pretty special. He was the catalyst for my bike ride across Canada, and he passing has inspired Matt’s family, and a lot of his friends to become passionate advocates for organ donation. Dale was also happy to hear about all of the media attention that my cross country bike ride had received.

I was glad I was able to keep my dinner plans with Dale. It is great to see someone thrive after a major transplant, and to know that they can go back to a life of normalcy again. It helps to reaffirm the importance of organ donation to me, and reinforces the importance of the message on my bike ride.

Dale was also very generous as well treating myself and Eric to dinner at Hoito, a traditional Spanish restaurant in Thunder Bay. He offered me a place to stay with his sister-in-law once I made it to Sudbury  and also gave me a cheque for a donation for Give2Live. I want to thank Dale for his generosity and support, he has definitely provided  me with some extra motivation to cover the 1,400 KM between here and Toronto so I can make it to the event my teams are throwing for me next Saturday.

The Terry Fox Monument in Thunder Bay

This morning I stopped by the Terry Fox statue in Thunder bay before making my way out of town. My next stop will be in Terrace Bay as I am hoping to get another 220 + kilometres behind me today

Upsala to Thunder Bay

Total KM Biked: 3,525 KM

Cheers

Cayse

What’s Up, Upsala?

I took off from Dryden, Ontario yesterday morning biking through some rain. I anticipated I would be riding wet for most of the day based on the forecasts.  The forecasts were not correct. The rain cleared up after mid-morning, but the clouds and the humidity stayed. I am not sure if this counts as improved weather though,the rain at least helps me stay cool on my bike in this humidity. By late afternoon the sun was back out, which makes my rides a little warmer as well.

I was able to cover good distance today covering 211 of the 367 km between Dryden and Thunder Bay which landed me in Upsala, Ontario. I kept things simple for dinner filling up on a combination of energy bars, almonds and whey protein. For the weigh I just eat a couple scoops and  just wash it down with water, who has time to mix things these days anyways?

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Another night of road side camping

I spent the night roadside in my tent with plans to get going early this morning.  Although it is nice to be back in my home province of Ontario, there are bugs everywhere, and it has been very sticky because of the humidity. The roads here are also a little tougher to navigate. The shoulders are not as wide as in other provinces, and I have to be constantly on the lookout and listening for truckers It is almost enough to make a guy miss the flat plains of the Prairies…. almost.

Tonight I plan to hit Thunder Bay, in what will be the official halfway point of my trip.  I can’t believe I was able to make it this far in just 22 days. I had originally budgeted a month to get to Thunder Bay so I am almost a week ahead of where I would anticipate that I would be.

My next big goal is to get to Toronto by July 6, as my team is putting together an event for me there to raise awareness and welcome me back to the city. It will be great to see some familiar faces, and having a hard date I have to be in Toronto is a huge motivation for me when I get tired and helps me plan out a timeline and distances. I have until  next Saturday to make it 1,400 kilometres. No Pressure

In Thunder Bay I will be staying with some friends, visiting the Terry Fox statue, and going out for dinner with a heart transplant recipient who traveled to the South Pole with Test Your Limits earlier this year. I am hoping to talk with a few more local media as well to keep spreading the word on organ donation.

If you live in Ontario and would like to sign up to be an organ donor please visit BeADonor.ca

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Total KM Biked:  3,378