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.