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.
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.
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.