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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Total KM Biked: 4,236 KM