Hump Day

I am well into the Rockies now, camped out at Dream Catcher Hostel in Golden, BC.  It was a difficult 150 km of biking yesterday as I climbed from 500 to a 1500 meters above sea level, before eventually coming to a rest in Golden, which sits at an elevation around 1000 meters above that of Vancouver.

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A huge thanks goes out to Katie Burrell and the Revelstoke crew for putting me up two nights ago and to the Dream Catcher Hostel and their staff  for their hospitality in offering me a free meal and place to crash last night.  Katie and me are pictured below, followed by me at Petra Nott owner of the Island Restaurant by the Dream Catcher Hostel Image

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Though I am happy with the time that I made yesterday, it was an uncomfortable ride.   The thin air seared my lungs with each breath that I took and with each pedal-stroke it felt like the mountain was carving chunks out of my quads. Once you turn 26, you really start to feel the aches and pains! Today promises to be much of the same as I climb towards the apex of the mountains in Lake Louise.  This, no doubt, will be the most difficult stretch of my journey—at least until I encounter the black flies and barrenness of Northern Ontario.

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With all that being said, it was still an incredible day filled with joy, love and beauty.  I saw/heard/read an incredible amount of messages wishing me well on my birthday and encouraging me onwards in my journey.

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The vistas were sublime and left me reflecting about both the vastness of nature and the ingenuity and indomitable spirit of humankind for our ability to overcome any obstacle we are faced with.

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Most remarkable still, was that I was able to see firsthand the impact of my journey.  So far, whenever I have stopped biking for a bit, be it for a bite to eat at Subway or a coffee at Tim Horton’s, I have always tried to talk to people about my trip and the importance of organ and tissue donation.  The conversations have all been well-received and, often times, have inspired people to talk about a subject that they had previously thought little about.

Yesterday, it was actually a BC parks employee that approached me to have this conversation.  She had recognized me from the Global BC coverage from a couple of days earlier and wanted to let me know that seeing my story on TV inspired her family to have a conversation about organ donation around the dinner table that night for the first time ever!

I was amazed by this.  Getting people talking about this subject is the first step to having them register as organ and tissue donors, and I am delighted to know that, thus far, my journey has inspired a lot of conversation.  With thousands of kilometers still ahead of me, I hope to inspire many a thousand more conversations just like this.

It’s goodbye BC and hello Canmore, Alberta tomorrow.

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Total kilometers biked: 951 km

Cheers,

Cayse Ruiter

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