Sunday, August 3, 2008

The End of a Long Journey

Distance: 3km
Time: ?
Experience: Priceless!What seemed like only a dream and a possibility has become a reality this morning. The end of our more than 6, 300 km journey across this great country of ours comes to an end today. The three of us boys got on our bikes one last time for the shortest ride of our entire trip. As we made our way down Barrington Street in Halifax it didn't seem to matter that there was a heavy mist in the air. It was good to know we were finished and that we had done our very best throughout the course of the journey. Wanting to do this trip together we were blessed enough to go the full distance in the time frame intended with all three of us biking the entire time. A pretty good accomplishment for three brothers who had never really biked together before.

The media had been invited to meet us at the Delta Halifax hotel and with none in sight as we left the hotel it was comforting to have our wives, Mother and Grandmother in the van behind us as we made our way. Arriving at our destination, Point Pleasant Park, we came to the beach where we planned on dipping our tires and found that there was an event scheduled to begin there very soon. The event was called "The Black Rock Beach Party" and was to celebrate the reopening of the Halifax waterfront to swimmers after a 30 year closure due to a sewage problem the city once had. One of the event organizers (Sue) was kind enough to let us intrude on their party before it began. It is always amazing to see how God works certain things out in our lives as we found out that Sue's husband had passed away with ALS a number of years ago and that cleaning up the waterfront for public swimming had been something her husband had first spear-headed! Not only did we meet Sue, who is a city counselor but we also met the Mayor of Halifax. There were also a number of reporters there to cover the story and we had a chance to share of our journey with a number of them.

We dipped our tires in the ocean, gave each other high fives and got hugs from family as we enjoyed the reality of being finished. We decided to stick around until the official opening of the waterfront and were among the first people to take a dip in the newly reopened Halifax harbor. So there was history in the making in many ways for us on this very special day!

WE MADE IT!!! Today marks the official end to our 62 day journey that saw us travel across eight provinces, go through 8 flat tires, a combined 3 spills off our bikes and 1 stolen bike. There is so much to be grateful for that it is difficult to start. We were truly blessed with good to decent weather throughout our trip and even more fortunate to make it across the country with only a few minor mishaps. We truly enjoyed seeing, smelling and hearing the Canadian landscape as we slowly traveled through it. The people we met along the way were so encouraging and we could not have kept going if it were not for the encouragement we received at timely junctures along the way. There is so much to take in that it will likely only be in reflecting upon our experience in the days, weeks, months and years ahead that we will truly be able to appreciate what this time has meant in our lives and the lives of others. We hope that you have been encouraged and blessed by our journey and would love to continue hearing from you. To be in touch email us at


Distance: 85km
Time: 3hrs 25min

Waking up this morning we all knew it would be a day of lasts. The last day to take down the tent trailer; the last day to bike, traveling from one location to another; and the last day before the end of our cross-Canada journey. Cycling into Halifax was a great feeling and a little surreal to be honest. It will likely take all of us some time before it really sinks in.

Arriving in Halifax we checked into our hotel the Delta Halifax. We are so grateful and appreciative to the Delta Halifax Hotel as they were willing to give us complimentary rooms for the duration of our stay in Halifax! Not only that but the staff at the hotel were extremely helpful and kind. It is definitely true what they say about east coasters being nice people. If you are ever in Halifax we would definitely recommend that you stay at one of the Delta Hotels (

After checking into the hotel us boys had an interview with CTV news and then headed off to the airport to pick up our Mother and Grandmother who were flying in for the weekend to see us end our journey. Having both of them here is really special and means a lot.

After picking them up from the airport we all went out for a special celebratory dinner at the Haliburton Hotel. The east cost hospitality was in full force as the Haliburton provided us with a top of the line complimentary gourmet dinner at their hotel's restaurant called "Stories". The meal was outstanding, the atmosphere warm yet formal and the service extraordinary. They even put "Brothers Bike 4 ALS" on top of their menu which changes daily. If you are looking for an exceptional meal Stories is the place to go! (

A True Thought From Truro

Distance: 130km
Time: 4hrs 15min

Today we made our way into our eighth and final province of the trip! The best part of making it to Nova Scotia is knowing we only have two days of biking before we finish. If only that were the case with every province!

Making our way to Truro, NS we had to do a lot of hill climbing but with the thought of only one more day to go in mind we could have conquered any hill. With the day's ride finished we all spent some time going through the tent trailer and van to be ready for the end of the trip and our parting ways. It is crazy to think that we are almost done after traveling for 9 weeks!

A Flat Day

Distance: 78km
Time: 2hrs 40min

All of us boys had been looking forward to having a shorter biking day after many long days on the road. It is crazy to think of how one's perspective on "short" changes on a cross Canada bike trip. If you were to ask any of us guys if we thought a 78km bike ride was short before our trip we would have said no way! Now a bike ride that takes under 3 hours seems like no big deal. CRAZY!!!

Not only was it a short ride but a fairly flat road, which was a nice change from the amount of uphill riding we seemed to do coming out of Quebec and heading through the first part of New Brunswick. The annoying flats of the day came from flat tires. Adam had a flat at the end of the past day and had two more again today. We decided that his back tire needed to be changed out as it was becoming too weak. Overall we have done really well with flat tires as with these three we are at 8 flat tires for the whole trip thus far. Not only that but all of us boys have been on the same set of new tires for most of the over 6,000 km we are traveling. We've all decided that the key to not getting flats is to have good tires.

Biking aside we also had a rest day in Moncton and decided to take in some of PEI. None of us had been over the Confederation Bridge before and so enjoyed our first crossing of the 13km bridge. Juliet attempted to have us all hold our breath for the distance of the bridge. Needless to say any attempts to do so were in vein. Once on PEI we drove to Charlotte town and took in some sites before heading back.

Where's the Exit?

Distance: 140km
Time: 5 hrs

While we were in Fredricton it was nice to be in a home again and to have a real bed to sleep in. Thanks so much Aron & Sarah for opening up your home to us it is greatly appreciated!

The next morning we were off again and heading for Moncton, NB. It was a scenic ride throughout the morning before we got onto the Trans Canada, which while not as scenic was a nice ride especially with the wind as it pushed us along. The day's distance was to be a little shorter then the rest of the week had been but when we made it to our end the day exit there was no exit in sight! Alas, we had to carry on to the next exit making our day similar in distance to the others. All in all though it wasn't too bad as we all knew it would mean a shorter day of bike riding would follow.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Crabbe Mountain

Distance: 140 km
Time: 5 hours 50 minutes

We had two options: A) Go a longer distance with fewer hills by taking the Trans-Canada or B) Eliminate some distance by taking back roads and face Crabbe Mountain. We chose plan B, harking to the call of Crabbe Mountain. That was our first mistake. The roads were in really poor shape and the grades on the hills were near ridiculous. Luckily some of the heat from the previous days had dissipated and so we were able to survive until lunch. That’s when we made our second mistake. The girls had driven ahead and found a ‘5km’ stretch of gravel on the road that they came back to warn us about. They were kind and offered to drive us over it, but assured us that about a kilometre in there was pavement underneath. We figured we’d tough it out like we did with Crabbe Mountain and so we gave it a shot. Turns out it was a little longer than 5 km and it was loose stone the whole way. Regardless, we finally reached Fredericton and were able to enjoy another meal out courtesy of our sponsors. Also, Amy and Heather slaved in the kitchen making delicious brownies, rhubarb bread, morning glory muffins, and stewed rhubarb. All in a day’s work for the ladies! Just 4 more days of biking left!


Distance: 155 km
Time: 6 hours 15 minutes

After nearly 8 weeks of biking, we were all very excited to knock off another province from our list and enter New Brunswick. Spirits were high as the day began but apparently not as high as the wind, hills or temperature and so this day was trying for all involved. The boys had a tough time as the wind would not give them a break all day. In any other circumstance it might have been humorous that they literally had to pedal on the downhill to keep up their speed but unfortunately today was not one of those times.
However, the boys were not the only ones to struggle as the girls had an interesting time of their own. Normally they pack up camp and then drive ahead and wait for us to eat lunch with them. During that time they usually enjoy an episode or two of The Office on the van’s DVD player but today the boys took a little longer to catch up. Needless to say, a car battery can only last so long and luckily Amy and AJ have CAA. Battery boosted and problem solved.

Nouveau Brunswick on the Horizon

Distance: 150km
Time: 5hrs 50min

Today proved to be a little confusing as we had to improvise our route along the way with not being allowed to bike on certain roads. It proved to be another long day of bike riding and after a cold end to our day yesterday today we found ourselves baking in the sun.

Our day ended with us slumping off our bikes at our campsite in Degelis. Cold showers were in order today with a good meal and ice cream from the local little restaurant across the road from the campsite. Having made it to Degelis today we will have a 15km ride tomorrow morning to the New Brunswick border, after which there will only be one more provincial border to cross!

Let the Long Bike Days Begin

Distance: 158km
Time: 6hrs 45min

With the longest ride of the week looming ahead of us we set out to cross the St. Lawrence. Back in the day that would have been quite the accomplishment but with a large bridge at our aid we were able to make it over the mighty river in pretty good time:)

One of the really neat things about the small towns here in Quebec is that they all have what appears to be the town church. While other buildings and homes may be run down these churches (likely all built in the early 1900s) are kept immaculate and seem to show the strong religious roots that were established here long ago.
The day was slow going as we were stopped by lots of traffic lights and then by the wind. By the end of the day we were contemplating whether to go the full distance or to get picked up early. We elected to ride on and with 15km to go thought it wouldn't be too bad. That was before we came across the road construction and the rain storm. By the time we made it to the camp site we were very wet, cold and ready for a warm shower and a hot meal.


Distance: 120km
Time: 5hrs 15mins

Making our way along the same scenic road we had traveled the day before we made our way just south of Quebec City. With all the history that Quebec City has we decided that a rest day was in order for the following day to take in the sights of the city, especially considering that this summer is Quebec City's 400 year anniversary!

Montreal to Trois Rivieres

Distance: 120km
Time: 4hrs 30min

After a weekend off in Montreal we were back on the road again and making our way into the heart of Quebec. For those who have not been to Quebec it can be a little confusing when you see signs that tell you how far away you are from Quebec when you are already in the province. Apparently, there is no need to include "city" with Quebec as everyone knows what they are referring to.

Today our travels would take us half the distance to "Quebec" as we made our way to Trois Rivieres. The road was quite scenic as we made our way along the St. Lawerance and along the way we encountered a lot of other cyclists. Quebec definitely has a lot of cycling enthusiasts especially considering we saw so many on a Monday morning.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Bad Day A’Commeth

Distance: 125km
Time: 4 hrs 20 min

We have been truly blessed on our trip across Canada. There have been friendly people to meet, beautiful views to behold and over all some pretty good weather for biking. So, it seems as though there was bound to be a bad day to come and today was definitely that day!

The day started out alright as we packed everything up and left Ottawa to begin our trek into Quebec and Montreal. When we got to where us boys were to start biking for the day Mike went to unlock the bike rack and start taking off the bikes when he realized there was something out of the ordinary. The bike rack did not look as full as it normally did. There was a bike missing which must have been stolen during the night. Someone had found a way to loosen the bike rack just enough to pull the last bike off, which happened to belong to Mike. The whole BBA crew stood there for a few minutes taking in what had happened and deciding what to do next. Thankfully, there was a back-up bike available (Juliet’s bike) which the boys were able to put together and Mike was able to use. What could have been a huge delay of days was averted and the boys were able to continue their trek.

Things did not end there however as the boys cycled into a rainstorm later in the day and upon arriving in Montreal all three took little spills off their bikes with the wet weather conditions. None of the boys were seriously hurt (only have some minor scrapes) but this was enough to call an end to biking for the day. On top of the tough emotional and physical aspects of the day we all found that navigating through Montreal is extremely difficult which led to the guys and girls getting lost and having a hard time finding each other. We were to do a radio interview with Radio Canada but with getting lost, were not going to make it. In the end we just barely made the interview as Mike and Adam went into a Best Buy store to ask if they could use the phone and do the interview from there. The interview seemed to go well but even it did not go as planned with the interviewer only asking Mike questions even though he had both Mike and Adam on the phone.

By the end of the day, everyone was thankful to just find our campsite and get something to eat before falling exhausted into our beds. We were bound to have a bad day or two so hopefully with this behind us we can look forward to much better days ahead. Thankfully, we have the next two days to rest in Montreal and to recuperate from the worst day ever!

Day Two in the Nation’s Capital

Distance: 75 km
Time: 3 hrs

Having stayed the night before in Ottawa at the Laurentian Leadership Centre (connected to Trinity Western University) we decided it would be best to put in a short day as we were to again stay in Ottawa for Thursday evening. The thought of a shorter biking day was especially nice since we were going to be up super early to be on an Ottawa breakfast television news show! We were to be at the TV station for 6:15am and with it being only a few blocks away from where we were staying we decided to bike. They had said we would be on the show at 6:50am but that we should be there early so they could prep us. We sat there until 6:45am before they whisked us outside to interview us on the street (so much for prepping usJ). The interview went really well and we were all glad for the opportunity. After the interview, us boys were dropped off just south of Ottawa to start our biking and traveled east until we came to a small town called St. Isidore. The ride was uneventful but it was nice to have the shorter distance and day.

After our ride AJ, Amy, Adam and Heather decided to go see some of the sights of Ottawa and the two girls convinced the guys to go tandem biking. Juliet and Mike were able to meet up with their friends Brenda and Michael to have a tour of the parliament buildings, where Michael works, after which the four of them went for dinner at their friends Kelly and Kaarin’s place.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Interviews All Around

Distance: 100 km
Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

Cycling today was straight forward and not too shabby with fewer kilometers. We did however have a few mix-ups when it came to interviews. Last minute, we changed our route for the day and decided to finish at North Gower instead of Carleton Place. Unfortunately, some local newspapers were hoping we would be passing by and we had to miss out. On the upside, one of the papers had a sister newspaper in Smiths Falls and we were able to meet up and have an interview there.

Sneaky Man

Distance: 145 km
Time: 4 hours 50 minutes

Today the weather was decent and we even had a bit of a tailwind to nudge us along. We did hit two sections of construction which was a little unpleasant due to narrow roads and a few sections of dirt. The only note of interest we had was noticing a policeman with a radar gun at the side of the road. He was so well hidden in the shade and with his cruiser behind a rock that we didn't see him until we were almost right beside him. Luckily, it is a bit of a challenge for us to speed when the speed limit is 60 on the level.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Finally, Our Fourth Brother

Distance: 175 km
Time: 5 hours 40 minutes

We usually struggle a bit in the mornings when we know that we have a long day ahead of us but today was a little different. A friend of ours and an avid cyclist, Matt Campbell, had asked if he could join up with us on our trek to Peterborough and of course we were happy to have the company. Matt had been one of our advisors with regards to cycling before the trip and so it was nice to have the opportunity to thank him again and spend the day riding alongside him. Not only that, but Matt helped make the day interesting and pushed us a little harder than we were used to. Twice we were left behind as Matt sprinted off ahead and left us to try to catch up. The three of us were feeling fairly competent before we had began the day since Matt had not been out on his bike much this year but we were soon dissappointed to learn that he could still put us to shame. That being said, the day ended with us completing the distance and feeling a little more tired than usual.

Supporting Stretch!

Distance: 110 km
Time: 4 hours

After enjoying all of the support at the rally on Saturday we were expecting Sunday to be a bit of a lull for us as we rode from Owen Sound to Orangeville. However, we were blown away by everything that happened. We had to stop nearly every hour to meet with people who had come out to support us! We began our day with the encouragement of the Owen Sound Alliance church as we attended the morning service with our family and then started the day's journey from there. We went for about an hour and a half and were fortunate enough to enjoy lunch at our Grandma's house with some family. Half an hour later we were in Flesherton being waved down by a group of people including the Mayor of Grey Highlands, a reporter and a ton of great supporters who encouraged us along the way (Adam felt lightheaded, we like to think it's from being overwhelmed by all the people, but everyone was really understanding and helpful - thanks!). Last, but definitely not least, we stopped in Shelburne to meet up with Lori Wilson, Aunt Donna and another crew of family friends who had gotten together to support us. Along with granola bars, powerade and water they also handed us a jug full of money that they had raised for the cause. It was amazing to see all of those people come out and encourage us along the way.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hometown High!

Distance: 5km
Time: unknown

Having biked for 6 weeks we made it to our hometown in Owen Sound. It was great to be home and to see so many familiar faces. Our Mom did a great job of organizing the Owen Sound rally and had some outstanding help from a number of our Father's former colleagues at Bell. The rally was a great success with things starting off with a 5km ride, glide or stride around the Owen Sound harbor. While the 5km was not our longest distance in a day it was definitely our most enjoyable as we did the ride with our Grandma Teeter.

A program followed with a silent auction, live music, an introduction of the Teeter Boys by the Mayor and an update on ALS research by Dr. Michael Strong. There was a BBQ, a kids craft section and a clown too! We were all really encouraged by all the support shown to us and the great turnout (there must have been at least a couple hundred people).

Thank you to all who attended and a big thanks to everyone who helped out with the event! Being home has been great and knowing that we are two thirds of the way done our trip has all of us feeling good about the remainder of the cross Canada tour.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Home Stretch...Kind Of

Distance: 115km
Time: 4hrs 40min

Our first day back in southern Ontario turned out with good weather and good company. Amy and her parents took the chance to bike with us from Tobermory down to our lunch break at Wiarton. It was a great achievement for them all and it was nice for us boys to have the company. We ventured off the main highway here and there to avoid some traffic, which provided us with a few more hills than expected for southern Ontario. The day of cycling came to an end with a local television station capturing our entrance to Owen Sound. In all, it was nice to reach familiar territory and see familiar faces.

The Chase

Distance: 110km
Time: 4hrs 30min

After enjoying our stay at Silver Maple Campgrounds we started our trek through Manitoulin Island with our end destination being Southmouth ferry terminal. Although the day was the shortest distance we had to travel for the week it was definitely not the easiest. We hit some construction right away, then some hills and for a good portion of the day we had to battle some pretty strong winds. We did however have some nice highlights from the day, which more then made up for the difficult ride.

For starters we were chased for most of the day by a news crew from Sudbury who were with CTV News. They were in touch with Juliet throughout the day and chased us mid-way down Manitoulin island before catching up to us. We were able to do a good long interview with them and the word is that the news piece they did was really great. The other highlight for us was seeing our Mother as she and our step-father, Al had come across on the ferry from Tobermory to meet us. We had a great time connecting as we sailed to Tobermory and then said goodbye as Mom and Al headed home to prepare for our arrival the next day.

An Amazing Day with Amazing People

Distance: 125
Time: 4 hours 20 min

Today we were all really excited to get underway because not only was the wind at our backs but we knew we would be spending the evening somewhere special. That being said, it wasn't long before we were biking through construction and feeling the pain as the chewed up roads caused more vibrations than we'd ever felt before. Our hands literally felt like they were going to explode but we made it through and completed the day.

The girls picked us up in Espanola and took us to the Silver Maple Campground where the owners were competing with Kipling for the title of the nicest people ever. They not only gave us a 30 foot trailer to sleep in for the night, which we had all been looking forward to, but had thrown a fundraising event on Canada Day a week earlier. It turned out that one of the ladies there had lost her fiancee to ALS at age 21 and so they all went into overdrive to do all that they could for us. Apparently everyone had a great time at their event and while we were disappointed that we could not have been there they filled us in on all the details and even gave us a scrapbook filled with pictures, notes and stories. But that's not all they gave us! Due to all their hard work they managed to raise $1115.00 towards our cause. We were all blown away and were at a loss as to how we could ever thank these amazing people. Oh, and they also fed us a delicious spaghetti dinner and had a campfire for us too. Even as we are writing this blog none of us can get over all that they did for us. So, if you are passing through Espanola make sure to stop in at Silver Maple because not only is the campground spectacular but the people are too.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Where's the Iron Bridge?

Distance: 120km
Time: 4hr 20min

Leaving Sault Ste Marie we were fortunate to find ourselves heading out on a nice newly paved road with long flat sections and a bit of a wind at our backs. We made fairly good time on our way to Iron Bridge and there was no real excitement to speak of from the day. The one disappointment of the day was finding out that there wasn't really an "iron" bridge in Iron Bridge. There were a couple of bridges but nothing spectacular enough for the name, or so Mike thought.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sault Saint Marie

Distance 125km
Time 5.5 hours

The ride from Lake Superior to Sault Saint Marie was long but fairly uneventful. It got quite hot after lunch with the bike computer registering 38 degrees Celsius. The day ended with a big hill- what locals refer to as the "Mile High Hill"

Their hard work was rewarded by a rest day the following day. Juliet, the die hard beach bum lived by the pool and was eventually joined by Mike, Adam and Heather.

The clouds were amazing that evening, and it looked like aliens might be coming! The day ended as most days do, with the group watching an episode of Heros.

Some Superior Hillage

Distance: 145km
Time: 6hrs

Leaving Obatanga Provincial Park us boys were not sure exactly how far we were going to have to bike to our next rest stop. Our plan was to stay in Lake Superior Provincial Park at a campground called Agawa Bay but with Lake Superior Park being 83km long we were not sure how far down we would find the campsite. In the end we traveled through some very scenic (aka very hilly) areas and came to Agawa Bay after the longest day of our week. The ride was hard as we had the wind against us at times and meeting hill after hill begins to tire one out. The campsite however was located on a beautiful stretch of Lake Superior with a long beach area. We all really enjoyed the beautiful surroundings and were treated to an amazing sunset. We also met some nice people from California who asked us about our trip and donated to the cause.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Barriers Man and Nature

Distance: 125 km
Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Today we were in good spirits as we left the hills behind and even had the wind behind us for most of the day. So in celebration of our progress and because the girls had slept in a little that morning we treated ourselves to a little snack at A&W in White River and continued along with bellies full of burgers. Obviously, everything was looking up for us until we were chased down a hill by a transport truck who honked at us continually and then pulled off a little ways up the road. The driver and his lady friend then got out of the truck and proceeded to yell at us for being on the road. Mike spoke rationally, AJ was kind and Adam tried to look cute. None of it worked. We took his words into consideration but were not sure where to buy license plates for our bicycles. Not our favorite experience but we were pleasantly surprised when we got to the Obatanga campground and Amy had sweet talked the attendant into giving us their best campsite for free. Overall, not a bad day.

Distance: 105 km
Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Today was a fairly uneventful day, with many groans and complaints as the hills continued to challenge us all the way to Marathon. As Mike put it, it was quite a Marathon to Marathon. However, one thing that we were all fascinated by was the change in temperature whenever we neared Lake Superior. It was literally as if we hit an invisible wall where the temperature would drop 10 degrees. We were all blown away by it as one moment we would be sweating profusely and the next we would be zipping up our shirts and pulling down our sleeves to stay warm. Definitely a memorable experience!

Canada Day!

Distance: 95km
Time: 4hrs

So we hit some big hills today, real big. Even though the Rockies have longer passes, Northern Ontario definitely has more ups and downs. We are starting to realize we made the right decision to make the first few days of this week shorter than usual.

After a short, strenuous day of cycling, we made it to Rainbow Falls Provincial Park. Later in the evening, we ventured in to Terrace Bay where we witnessed a wicked Canada Day fireworks event. For a small community, they had a surprisingly long (close to 30 minutes) but also drawn out, fireworks show. The wicked and unexpected part was near the end when thunder clouds rolled in and brought tonnes of lightning all around us on the beach. Just as the show wrapped up, the cold, cold rain started to fall. A Canada Day experience we'll remember for quite a while.

Terry Fox and a Canyon

Distance: 95km
Time: 3hrs 30min

Our first day back on the road after our first two day weekend turned out fairly good. We had a shorter ride than usual and a few memorable stops along the way.

After a few kilometers of warming up, we stopped at the Terry Fox memorial. It was good to see and be inspired by an individual that took the extra step forward to make a difference.
Stop number two was suppose to be for lunch at Eagle Canyon suspension bridge. After finding out the price to cross Canada's longest pedestrian suspension bridge, we decided to just park in their lot and eat instead. Unfortunately, we were quickly asked to pack up and leave if we were not going to pay and cross the bridge. So we took our business elsewhere and traveled up the road a little further to Ouimet Canyon where for a fraction of the cost we had lunch and enjoyed the beautiful views.

As for the rest of the day; cycling was fairly uneventful, finishing near Nipigon and overall pleasant to have a short distance after a long break.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Thunder Bay

Distance: 124km
Time: 4hrs 30min

We made it to Thunder Bay early in the day to avoid a possible rain storm and to pick up Amy who was arriving at the airport. Needless to say AJ was definitely looking forward to the day as he and Amy have been apart for the last month.

This weekend was special in two ways: first it is the first time that we have all six members of our Brothers Bike 4 ALS Team together and secondly it is the first time we have two rest days in a row! The weekend here in Thunder Bay has been very relaxing and has definitely been a much needed break from camping. We have been fortunate enough to stay here in Thunder Bay with AJ's friends Scott & Miriam with some highlights including: seeing Kakabeka waterfall, touring a cheese farm and going to church at Redwoods Alliance Church.

A Not So Eventful Day

Distance: 120km
Time: 4hrs

The ride from Ignace to Upsala was fairly uneventful. We made our distance in fairly good time and spent most of the ride without seeing much civilization. Our accommodations was about 20km past Upsala and was the first "resort" we stayed at. While the term resort has a broad definition it was definitely stretched to the limit with this place! They were very nice though and let us stay in one of the old cabins for free. After camping for a number of days with lots of bitting bugs it was great to be indoors.

Close Calls

Distance: 150km
Time: 6hrs

This morning the boys got up early despite the rain and mosquitoes to make it to a radio interview in Vermilion Bay on Q104. The girls packed up the campsite as quickly as they could because they were being swarmed by mosquitoes! They drove into Vermilion Bay and met up with the boys early.

The radio station had given them stickers with 2-for-1 Big Mac Coupons, so group decided to stop at MacDonalds for an early lunch. As they entered the parking lot, a police man pulled up behind them. The girls got worried because they were trying to park and were taking up 5 parking spots and Adam was worried because he had just made a slightly illegal move on this bike entering the parking lot. The girls took off in the van, and the police man came over to Adam. The police man introduced himself as Dave and shook the boys hands and said that he'd heard them on the radio this morning and that his own father had just passed away from ALS.
Thankfully he didn't give anyone a ticket and said that he'd make a donation online.

A little while later, the boys got pulled over by a Ministry of Transportation vehicle, and were worried for the second time that day that they were going to get in trouble for something. Instead, it was a lady named Della who's friend Martin had just passed away from ALS. She had heard them on the radio, and then seen the boys biking, so she rushed home to get 2 cases of bottled water and a donation.

The encouragement continued as near the end of a long day of biking, the boys ran out of water they decided to stop at someone's house for water. She was very willing to refill their water bottles as she'd just read about them in the paper that morning.

From Beach to Bay

Distance: 165km
Time: 5hrs 50min

We stayed at a place called Falcon Beach which apparently was the site for a TV show shot here for a couple of years. The days ride was our longest for the week but as we made our way from Manitoba into Ontario it was nice to see the scenery changing and to begin to bike past the many lakes of Northern Ontario. The ride was more hilly then it has been for quite some time but with the twists and turns came more to see as we rode along.

We met up with a cyclist today named Dennis who was heading in the other direction. He said he has come across many cyclists so far, which is not surprising considering most travel from West to East. Dennis himself admitted that if he had of known about the prevailing winds coming from the West he too might have decided to travel in the other direction. As it was his journey had already brought him from St. Catherines in 14 days so while he may not have the wind with him he is definitely making good time. All the best Dennis! Tonight's stay is in Vermilion Bay at another campsite and tomorrow morning we are to have an interview with a radio station.

lords of the flies

Distance: 145km
Time: 5hrs 20min

To our avid readers it is with our sincerest apologies that we have not been more prompt with our postings for this last week. It appears that if you want to truly be in a remote place then Northern Ontario is likely a good place to start:)

On to this week's postings! Having had an enjoyable time at the Ifland's in Winnipeg us boys headed out on Monday morning. It seems to be official that Mondays (aka the first day of biking after a rest day are extremely tough at least from a mental perspective). On this particular morning our highlight was seeing Matt Hill and Stephanie Tait who are both running around North America. It is an incredible endeavor which puts bike riding across Canada into a new perspective as these two are definitely more crazy then we are:) Matt and Stephanie are running to raise awareness for the environment and actions that can be taken to sustain it. To find out more about their journey visit

From our chance run in with Run for One Planet we made our way to the longitudinal center of Canada, marking our half way point from a longitudinal perspective. The rest of the day was less then enjoyable. The wind was a little against us, the sun was getting hot and worst of all we came upon swarms of flies that followed us for the majority of our afternoon ride. The flies were really bad as they would fly around each of us in little clouds above our heads and would fly into us every so often, bouncing off our helmets and bodies. The only good thing was that the flies would not land on us or bit so it was mostly just really really annoying. As the title suggests we could have been the lords of the flies but instead I think each of us felt more like the character "Pigpen" from Charlie Brown who always has flies buzzing around his head!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Weekend in Winnipeg

Distance: 90km
Time: 3 hr

The trip into Winnipeg was good as we enjoyed sunshine and the wind at our backs. Arriving in Winnipeg we were warmly greeted by the Iflands. Orion and Rebecca have treated us really well and we have definitely enjoyed our time with their little guy Seth. We also had a chance to connect with one of Mike's old friends from youth group days, Tim Gibbons. Tim is married and has two beautiful little girls.

The rest day has been much needed and Orion was good to take us downtown to the Forks (where the river forks). It is a really nice area and we were able to take in some of the jazz music as there is a big jazz festival happening. Next up is Ontario where we will spend a third of our journey!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

No Need to Portage a la Prairie

Distance: 130km
Time: 3hr 30min

After our short ride into Brandon we had a longer but enjoyable 130km ride into Portage le Prairie. The weather was beautiful and sunny with the best part being the wind at our backs. I think us boys have decided that this is the way biking was meant to be done!

We made it to Portage by lunch time and had the afternoon to enjoy some time off. The camp ground we stayed at was on Island Park in Portage which was an actual island; not something you expect to see in the prairies. Portage was larger then we had thought and the island was quite picturesque.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Short Ride to Brandon

Distance: 75km
Time: 2hr 30min

Today was a good day for biking in many ways. We got to sleep in a bit not leaving the campsite until just before 9am, the day was beautiful and sunny with a light breeze and us boys only had to bike 75km, which was about half the distance of a normal day's ride!

We arrived in Brandon at lunch time, met up with the girls and got ourselves set-up at our campsite. It was nice to actually have some time in the afternoon especially since we had a few things to do. Most importantly were a few repairs to the tent trailer. AJ earned his keep today fixing all that needed fixing (that's why everyone needs a mechanical engineer). We all decided he deserved some dessert after dinner for his hard work. Way to go Mr. Fix-it:)

Surprises from above and below...

Distance: 150 km
Time: 6.5 hours

The boys were loving today as they started out biking with the wind and made great time. However, it was no more than an hour in before they were caught by the rain and had to wait out a thunderstorm that loomed ahead. It didn't take long for the storm to pass by though and so for the rest of the day they were able to enjoy the show as they biked in the sun and watched the lightning in the clouds ahead of them (they were not in the lightning, only able to see it in the distance).

With one crisis averted they enjoyed the cool air brought on by the storm but were given one more surprise as they stumbled across some construction. It started out okay but the further they got the more the road seemed to throw at them...literally. The rain had turned the sand on the road into clay, which promptly clogged up their bikes. At one point it was bad enough that both Adam and Mike had to carry their bikes as the wheels were clogged and unable to turn. AJ, to Mike and Adam's chagrin, did not have this issue and coasted through with little difficulty. Luckily, it only lasted for 22 km and soon the boys were on their way again, crossing the border into Manitoba and finishing their long day with time to spare.

Kipling- Town of the nicest people on the face of this earth :)

Distance: 130 km
Time: 6.5 hours

The day after a rest day is always tough but this one was a challenge mentally. We checked the weather in the morning and found out that the wind had shifted to the southeast and would stay there all week. This meant that we would be biking into the wind with no reprieve and we were all discouraged right from start. It was slow going and with nothing but the prairies to look at we were very glad to pull into our campsite in the little town of Kipling.

Kipling.....truly one of the best towns we have stayed in thus far. When Juliet and Heather finished putting up the tent trailer, the manager of the grounds arrived to tell us that the campsite would be free for us. During the course of that evening 4 donations of $20 were made from locals who had heard of our arrival to Kipling through the loop. One of the donations came from the wife of a man who's father had passed away from a 6 year struggle with ALS. We had met him on a walk into town to find the components for delicious smores, and had a very brief conversation with him about our cause. After having a challenging day it was a real comfort to see God working within the hearts of people around us.

Another exciting evening event that evening was seeing the "Largest RED Paper Clip in the World" The picture doesn't do it justice.

The following morning served to be another reminder of God's hand in our trip. Juliet and I (Heather) had a lovely morning of trying to figure out why a) the tent trailer would not wind down and b) why jumping on the top of it served no purpose. Juliet found a helpful man in the local pool who told us where a garage was to fix the trailer, since he did not have the tools to do it. We then had to drive like a turtle, with the tent trailer still up, to get to the garage two blocks away. We had an interesting time with several male mechanics who laughed at the two blondes who were unable to figure out how to work a tent trailer crank. It ended up being a bigger issue then we expected, but they fixed it for free. Ahhhh Kipling, the town of people who never pass up the opportunity to help their fellow man.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Hard but Special Day

Distance: 90km
Time: 3hr 30min

While the distance traveled for the day was not as hard as our previous three days of 175km (per day!), it was however tough as our bodies were tired from the long days of riding and we knew that our next day would be a rest day in Regina.

The day was also special as Juliet was good to remind us boys that it was Father's Day. With the ride being in part to celebrate our Father's life there was lots to think about biking towards Regina. I'd say Dad was with us as we made our way through flat prairie fields with big puffy clouds and blue sky filling the horizon. I think he would be proud of us for doing this together, for looking to encourage other families having a loved one with ALS and for raising awareness as we journey across Canada.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Best and Worst of Cycling

Distance: 175km
Time: 6hr 15min

Having had our worst cycling day of the trip earlier this week (head wind, cold, rain, etc) we had one of the best afternoons to speak of yet. The morning ride from Outlook to Elbow (that's right there is a place called "Elbow") was really good at first, then we change directions and seemed to be against the wind and on a slight incline for the rest of the morning (not as much fun).

The afternoon started out with some light rain but got progressively better especially considering that we had the wind at our backs for the first time! What a difference it made too as we averaged 35 to 40km per hour. With the great wind and the girls not being impressed with our next rest stop (a place called "Eyebrow", which would raise eyebrows) we decided to take advantage of the favorable winds and head towards Moose Jaw. By days end we had added another 50km to our ride in about an hour and a half. The highlight of the afternoon for the boys was in reaching new sprinting records on their bikes. Mike reached 57.7km on a flat section of road and that was the boys maximum speed for the day! Next up a short ride into Regina and a rest day to come.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

What a lovely Outlook

Distance: 175km
Time: 6hr 30min

The boys had a good morning of biking from Kindersley and met up with the girls in Rosetown for lunch. The afternoon ride was fairly uneventful and the boys were able to make up the extra distance they need to get back on track.

While Juliet and Heather opted not to see the Museum in Outlook that features a large collection of Salt and Pepper Shakers, they did enjoy spending some time reading books by the river (after their daily tasks of setting up camp was done of course!) After dinner everyone went into town and got slurpies and chips and then we had fun walking on SkyTrail, "the longest pedestrian bridge in Canada."

Even cooler than the converted railway bridge was the beaver we watched swim right across the South Saskatchewan River, climb up on the shore with some food, and then slip back into the river and continue on his way.

Another gem from our stay in this small town was the church called the Gospel Lighthouse and whose sign reads, "A beacon of light for a world that's on the rocks"

Getting Better?

Distance: 180 km
Time: 6hr 45min

Today started off looking pretty good as the sun was out and we were all pleased with our decision to call it quits the day before. The wind was slightly behind us and so in the first 3 hours and 15 minutes we made 100km and were excited to try and double it in the afternoon. However, after stopping with the girls for lunch the wind seemed to change and when we started again the going was slow. We were soon all frustrated at 150 km and wanting to end our day but Adam was determined to try and reach at least 175 km and so the day dragged on. The weather did not improve but we stuck it out and completed our goal, calling the girls and getting picked up just as the wind got worse. Needless to say, we were all worn out and wondering what the next day would hold in store for us.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Best Part of Drumheller

Distance: 55km
Time: 2hr 45min

We all went to the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller this morning and really enjoyed it. It has an awesome collection of dinosaurs bones!
The boys ran into really bad weather with strong head winds. They were wet, cold, and tired by the time lunch came around and decided to call it a day and wait for better weather. We drove to Hanna and camped there. The boys will make up the extra distance from today over the next few days.

Drum Roll for our most Hellish Day Yet!

Distance: 152 km
Time: 6 hr 45min

So, our rest day was a nice change of pace and aside from the view short rain showers it was a nice sunny day. Us boys cleaned and tunned up our bikes and we all enjoyed a night out to see the new Indiana Jones movie.

However, the ride from Calgary area to Drumheller was not so nice. We started the day off in rain, wind and cold temperatures hovering around 6 degrees for most of the morning. In the afternoon we ran into some road constructions and a patch of unpaved muddy road that had us boys and our bikes dirty from head to toe. Adam made the comment that he would almost like for there to be more rain to wash us off and God decided to honor this request as we soon found ourselves in rain again and later even went through a brief downpour. The three of us decided that this was officially our worst days ride yet and to end our perfectly bad day of riding AJ had his tire blow within 5km of Drumheller. Ironically we had been waiting all day for a nice downhill section and the best one of the day was right after where AJ got his flat so we ended up walking down most of the hill to Drumheller. The perfect ending to a perfectly hellish day! The best part of the day was by far the warm showers at the Hoo Doos camp ground and going to see the Hoo Doos themselves that evening.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Cow Town & Betty's Run

Distance: 65 km
Time: 2 hr 30min

The boys biked hard in order to get to Calgary in time for Betty's Run for ALS. We made it there by 11am and were really impressed by the number of people who were there in support and amazed at how much money they were able to raise. We met Karen Caughey, the Executive Director of ALS Alberta.
We are staying at the Buchan's house in Calgary and Juliet was happy to see her friend Lyndsey. We are enjoying our visit with them. A highlight was playing an intense game of apples to apples after dinner. Tomorrow is a day off and everyone is looking forward to it!

Alberta Bound!

Distance: 150km
Time: 6 hr

Today was a long day as we finished our time in British Columbia. After coming through Rogers Pass and being a little surprised by the uphill climbs just past Golden, we thought the trek from Golden to Banff would be all downhill. I kept telling AJ and Adam that we would soon hit some big downhill sections as we made our way into Alberta.

Apparently coming out of the Rockies on the Alberta side is a more gradual decline then in BC, which AJ and Adam reminded me of with every uphill section.

Today we got an up close look at some elk but AJ and I are in a debate as to whether they were all elk or if some were deer. If anyone has a definitive answer maybe you can help us end our debate.
The girls meet us at Lake Louise for lunch and then we decided to pedal hard throughout the afternoon to make the next day's ride into Calgary as short as possible. This meant the longest ride so far at 150 km! We will be saying goodbye to the mountains soon.

Astonishing Find...

Distance: 140 km
Time: 5 hours 30 min

The day from Revelstoke started out quiet but it didn't take long before excitement found us once again. We were making our way up a hill when we were passed by two young cyclists. This wasn't the first time we had been passed by other bikers but it was the first time that it was on a hill and they were both carrying 40-50 lb packs on their bikes too! Needless to say, we were a little embarrassed but struck up a conversation and found out that they had a schedule similar to ours but were making better time. It was at that point that I think we started biking a little harder...and our light bikes finally paid off as we left them behind us and didn't see them again that day.

We made our way up to Roger's Pass, which we were told would be a difficult climb, but were pleasantly surprised and even a little disappointed to discover that it wasn't all it was made out to be. Our disappointment didn't last long though as we headed down the other side and made excellent time heading toward Golden.

In fact, we made good enough time that we rode through Golden to make the next day's ride shorter. Unfortunately, the majority of our 'extra' kilometers were uphill but we did get to see an interesting sight. Mike was in the lead when all of a sudden Adam started yelling "Ram! Deer! Caribou!" Mike stopped to see what Adam was yelling about and somehow missed seeing that there was a wild animal 15 feet ahead of him on the road. It didn't seem to mind us at first and so Adam and AJ argued over whether it was a deer or a ram while it sat there looking at us. From behind it looked like a deer and even bounded like one and since it did not have any antlers or horns Adam labeled it a deer. However, after it started bounding up the side of a cliff AJ claimed victory but Adam did not let up, labeling it a Ramdeer and claiming that he discovered a new species. Unfortunately we were not able to get a picture of this particular animal (to Adam's disappointment) but we did see other mountain sheep close by. So if you are ever traveling through the Golden area, keep an eye out for the Ramdeer...and take a picture for Adam.

Friday, June 6, 2008

To Revelstoke

Distance: 125 km
Time: 5 hr 20min

It was a cold, wet ride to Revelstoke. Heather and Juliet stopped at Craigellachie and saw the historic "last spike" (picture to come...)

The best part about the day was getting to stay at the Comfort Inn. They graciously gave us 3 complimentary rooms and we thoroughly enjoyed the large king sized beds, hot tub and tv. It is a really nice place to stay! We order pizza and had a very relaxing evening.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Our Evening in Salmon Arm

Our friend, Graeme Horton works for Twin Anchor Houseboats and he took us out on Shuswap Lake in the most luxurious houseboat we'd ever seen! It had a gorgeous kitchen and 2 bathrooms and on the upper deck there was a hot tub and tv!  It was a beautiful evening and the Hortons bbq'd a great dinner for us. Thank you Twin Anchors!

After we docked, we had the opportunity to meet the Kiy's and we went to their house for dessert. This was very meaningful for us all because Dirk (the dad) is currently living with ALS. We had a great visit with them and it was inspiring to see how graciously they are all coping with the disease. Although it is getting difficult to understand some of Dirk's speech, he has a great sense of humor and made us all laugh numerous times. Thank you Kiy's for reminding us why we are doing this!

The Reward

Distance: 130 km
Time: 5 hours

A lot has happened since our last post.  For those of you who do not know, both Adam and AJ have had a collapsed lung before (happens sometimes to tall skinny guys for no real reason).  With that in mind, Adam had felt some discomfort in his lungs during the ride from Merritt to Kelowna but decided not to tell anyone and just hoped that it would go away.  It hadn't by 10:30 pm and after Adam revealed that he had felt something similar before (wink wink), Heather made him go to the hospital.  Juliet drove and so the adventure began.  Luckily the hospital wasn't too busy and Adam had the respect of the doctors as they all appreciated the cause of the bike trip.  He was rushed right through, had three different X-Ray shots and even an ultrasound; all within an hour.  The doctor was pleased to tell me that it wasn't a collapsed lung and even gave a donation to the cause.  So it all turned out and we were home by 12:00. 

The next day he was feeling a little better and so we started our trek from Kelowna to Salmon Arm.  It was a beautiful day and we made excellent time until Adam got two flats at one time and since we only had one spare tube on us, we had to call the girls to come back for some roadside assistance.  The whole pit stop took us over an hour and so we were eager to get back on the road to reach Salmon Arm. 


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Up, Up & Up Some More!

Distance: 115km
Time: 6hr

So, I originally thought that climbing out of Merritt this morning was going to be the toughest part of our day. Upon further discovery it seems that there are a lot more hills between Merritt and Kelowna then I remember. Other then the occasional brief decline the rest of the day was spent going up! In the end today was a harder day then yesterday but we were rewarded by the end as we cruised down from the Penaske summit. On the way down we met up with a news reporter who interviewed us for the Kelowna news that night. In all it was a good day for awareness as we did an interview for a Merritt paper in the morning, the Kelowna CHBC news interview as well as two more interviews for local Kelowna papers once we arrived. Juliet has been doing a superb job of setting up interviews as us boys are tired enough with the rides. Tonight we are staying at Juliet's parents and they have rolled out the red carpet feeding us lots of great food (including steaks cooked by yours truly:). It is really great to see some familiar faces along the way and we'll look forward to seeing more in the days and weeks ahead.

Monday, June 2, 2008

First Day in the Mountains

Distance: 114km
Time: 5hr

We woke up this morning to the sound of rain outside the tent trailer. Because we were all warm inside sleeping bags the thought of getting up to start our first day in the Mountains was less than appealing. Stepping outside the tent-trailer though the rain was not as bad as it sounded and by late morning we were through the light rain and fog having risen above it. With all three boys not having trained together this was the first real test to see how we would do. As it turns out AJ is the King of the Hill when it comes to hill climbs! Adam and I are not sure how, but AJ seemed to be able to put the pedal down (literally:) when it came to climbing the hills. AJ seems to think it was all of his spinner workouts. We met up with some other cyclists who had just started their journey from Surrey, BC to St. John's. They were doing the trek unassisted with all of their gear on their bikes. Going up those mountains has given us boys a new found respect for anyone doing this on their own with all of their gear. We made it to Merritt in record time so we went for some Starbucks and Tim Hortons before heading over to the van Hemmen's for the night. The van Hemmens treated us like Kings and Queens as they not only fed us a great meal but ice cream sundaes too and to top it all off let us use their hot tube to rest our weary bones.

Here's for Hope (ing:)

Distance: 110km
Time: 4.5 hr

After having a great kick-off event and short ride we were a little slow leaving our Langley apartment. Juliet's parents were an amazing help throughout the weekend and ensured we left Langley on the right track. Today's ride started with a ferry ride, taking all of a couple of minutes to cross the Fraser river. We biked through Mission to Aggassi enjoying the farmland and countryside before heading into the foothills towards Hope. When we arrived in Hope, Juliet and Heather had our tent trailer all set-up and were ready to start one of Heather's gourmet meals. It was our first night of camping and the Wild Rose camp ground was gracious enough to provide us with a spot free of charge. Us boys showered up, ate, ate and ate some more:)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Vancouver - Langley

Distance: 65 km
Time: 3.5 hours

The big day finally arrived and we were all eager to get things started at the kick-off event in Stanley Park. We had confirmed that 30 people would show up for our start but we were blown away to see 70 smiling faces encouraging us on our way. But it didn't stop there, both Global and CTV showed up for interviews and Global ran a 3 minute story in their evening news. Sandra Booker lead the group in an energizing aerobic warm up and Wendy McGee, the executive director of ALS BC was there and shared a few words. So the day started off well and with a beautiful day for a ride we were off to a good start. Good first day!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Gearing Up!

There is nothing quite like realizing that an event is almost upon you. Like packing for vacation the night before your early morning flight or writing out that final paragraph for your exam just before time runs out. Welcome to our final days before the BIG tour!

The Kick-Off Event for Brothers Bike is to happen in 19 days, 19 hours and well almost 19 minutes. It is hard to believe that over a year's worth of planning is about to come to fruition! It has been great to see people and sponsors step up to help us out. With most of the major pieces in place there are lots of details to finalize over the coming weeks.

Along with all the planning there is the encouragement and good news that keeps us going. We found out some good news the other week when we confirmed that Kia Motors would be donating the use of a mini van for our tour, a big blessing indeed!

Another encouraging thing from the other week involved a chance meeting with some other cross-Canada cyclists. Juliet and I were checking out the picnic area, in Stanley Park, where the kick-off is to occur and while there met a group of guys cycling across the country for the Cancer Society. It was crazy to think of the odds of us being there at the same time. As Juliet says it was very serendipitous. We spoke with one of the riders, Kyle, and learned about their tribute tour to celebrate "typical Canadians".

The crazy thing is that these guys aren't the only ones cycling across the country this spring. There are at least two other groups that are heading out either before or after us. You can find their website by visiting our "Links" page on the website.



Thursday, April 10, 2008

Welcome to the Brothers Bike Blog!


To those who show an interest in what we are about to do we thank you in advance for your encouragement, support and prayers.

According to our website we have 51 days, 2 hours and about 8 minutes left before our cross Canada adventure begins! In the meantime all three of us boys and our wives are busy planning out all the detials and logistics of the trip.

Stay tune as there should be much more in the weeks and months to come:)