Well I grew up on farm so this seems appropriate. Anyone out there think they can beat me in a tan line challenge right now? If this is what I look like now, I wonder how my tan will be once I’ve made it to Newfoundland.
Yesterday I managed to bike 140 kilometres to Dryden. This was well short of my intended goal. I had planned to stop in Dryden for lunch and continue on to make my way to Thunder Bay tomorrow, but a few things slowed me down.
I was able to connect with the a local radio station in the morning to do some outreach on my journey and organ donation awareness. Unfortunately it also meant that I was a little delayed getting out of Kenora, but the trade off to help spread my message and hopefully encourage a few new organ donors is more than worth it. I also came up against a new challenge today that I haven’t had to face on my ride yet, heat and humidity. I found myself having to stop more often just to get some shade and re-hydrate. Combine that with a few hills and it looks like I won’t be making it to Thunder Bay for at least two more days. The fact that I re-entered the Eastern Time Zone technically cost me an hour of my day.
Stopping in Dryden however definitely did have a silver lining. The good people at the Comfort Inn were offered me a room to stay again (They have been lifesavers on this trip) and I was able to get in touch with some local media to do some additional outreach this morning. I plan on starting a little bit later today to avoid the early morning fog that settles over the area due to the current weather.
My plan today is to cover as much of the 357 KM to Thunder Bay as possible before camping roadside and finishing up the trip tomorrow. It is raining which should help with the heat, and since I will already be wet there is no reason to use that as an excuse to stop biking.
In Thunder Bay I hope to meet up with an organ donor who travelled to the South Pole with Test Your Limits. Test Your Limits goal is to raise awareness for heart failure research, cardiac transplantation and heart health by climbing mountains and skiing to the ends of world. One of the people involved with Test Your Limits is Dr. Heather Ross, who was Matt’s transplant doctor. Dr. Ross traveled to the South Pole this spring with transplant patients and brought the Iron Ring he received from the Faculty of Engineering at Dalhousie University. Much like me Dr. Ross used Matthew as an inspiration on her journey, and also placed Matt’s ring on the South Pole when she reached it before returning it to his family.
To bike between the 150-300 kilometeres I have been putting behind be requires a lot of fuel for my body, I am pretty much always hungry and can eat like a champ. The extra work of biking all of the distance everyday only adds to my naturally healthy appetite.
Total Kilometres Biked: 3,167
It looks like Cayse’s CBC Story has been picked up by Yahoo and MSN Canada. More media coverage equals more awareness for Cayse’s story, and hopefully more organ donors as well. Click the images below to see the stories.
If you have been inspired by Cayse to become an organ donor, please share with us. We would love if you could share with us on our Facebook Page or on Twitter. Cayse is inspired to bike even harder by the people he knows have signed up. It also means an incredible amount to my family. We don’t want other families to have to feel the same pain we did when we lost Matt. Being a Donor allows you to make a profound impact on peoples lives.
Robert Antolin (Matthew’s Brother)
This morning was different from other mornings when I have gotten on the road. For the first time I had company with me. Jillian of Transplant Plant Manitoba, and Joe, a organ recipient were kind enough to ride with me for a bit before I left Winnipeg today .
Jillian was super nice, and Joe was quite the conversationalist. He was really outgoing, and was always excited to talk to people about organ donation. We took a ride out to the road in Winnipeg together, said our goodbyes and I started my trip from Winnipeg to Kenora, Ontario. I officially made it back to my home province of Ontario. I’ve switched from the flat Prairies to rocks, trees and water of Ontario. The change has been nice. I can’t believe I already put four provinces behind me and more than 3,000 kilometers. The ride was pretty easy yesterday with beautiful weather, and the wind at my back. I have included a few pictures from my travels below.
I had a room offered to me at the Comfort Inn in Kenora. I would like to send a shout out to Outlive Yourself team member Dave Allingham and his contacts at the Comfort Inn/Choice Hotels for helping to provide me with a place to stay at several points over my trip. I came into this trip preparing to camp quite a bit, but I’ve been fortunate enough to have been offered beds due to the kindness of strangers, or through friends of friends. After tonight I will be camping roadside for the evening en route to Thunder Bay.
Helene’s teams filled us in on the Give2Live campaign, and I think it is phenomenal. It supports families who need to relocate to within 2 hours of a transplant zone when they have a family member listed for an organ transplant. A few people have reached out to me about providing financial support. If you would like to support me, please consider a donation to help Give2Live reach their goal of supporting 30 families during a very difficult time.
My team is also putting together an event for when I get to Toronto, where we hope to raise awareness and donations for Give2Live. They are still ironing out the details, but the event will be held on July 6. Stay tuned for more information, I would love to meet the people who have been following along on my trip and are helping me make an impact.
Last night I finally got to see my first hockey game in a while, which also happened the be the last one of the season. I am a Leafs fans, so I was rooting for the Hawks, since cheering for the Bruins would be sacrilegious. I guess Toronto’s melt down against Boston will no longer be remembered as the biggest meltdown of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs after the Bruins game six performance. I am going to be having a quick chat with the Kenora Daily Miner before starting my two day journey to Thunder Bay.
Kilometres Biked: 3028
Provinces Biked: 4
Thanks to Chris Glover at CBC Winnipeg for the story to help us raise awareness to register to be an organ and tissue donor.
Yesterday was a relaxing day in Winnipeg, it is always nice to spend a day off the bike. I sat down with reporters from Global and CBC Winnipeg today, and met up with a photographer from the Winnipeg Free Press. Meeting with the media is a bonus on my rest days. I know it helps to provide me with a platform to raise organ donation awareness.
I would like to thank the Brokkopp family(Richard,Debbie, Nicole and Olive), Bev Dube(mother of Debbie), and Lois Meilleur (sister of Debbie) for helping me to get my bike fixed here in Winnipeg, and providing me with a place to stay. I would also like to give a shout out to Alter – Ego Sport Winnipeg. It was the best bike shop experience I have had in my life. The staff were super friendly and provided awesome service in a flash. They were a pleasure to deal with and helped with my wheel repair, and getting some more tubes for my wheels.
I will take off this morning with some company for the first time on my ride. Jill from Transplant Manitoba, and Joe, a organ donor recipient, will be joining me on my ride out of Winnipeg and escort me a bit to the east. After the take off I plan to put 230 kilometres behind me make it to Kenora, Ontario. Hopefully the wind will be at my back and allow me to make decent time. I’m excited to make it back to my home province. There are a lot of people in Ontario, so I am hoping that I can continue to build on the momentum we have built with the media so far.
I have been asked by my team members what it is like to be planning to put 230 kilometres behind me during a day considering I started off in Tofino aiming for 100 to 150 kilometres a day. 230 kilometres is a number I feel confident that I can do, it is just about putting the time in and getting it done. Having the wind at my back makes the days ride much easier.
Getting used to the distances has been a little like training camp from when I played Rugby at McGill, or the lawn maintenance and landscaping business I used to run back in Ottawa. The first two weeks of any challenge are an adjustment to the demands it places on your body. But once you suck it up and do it, your realize that it isn’t nearly as tough as you thought.
My team have told me they are planning an event for July 6th in Toronto to raise some money for Organ Donation and hopefully sign up some new donors. I am excited to get to see some familiar faces, and to get a chance to see my team who has been helping me with logistics while I spend my days on a bike.
After that the next big stop will be my hometown Ottawa, then on to St. John’s.
Kilometres Biked so far today: 0 km
Click on the Image to see the story on Global News Website