The day began early as Team Max arose at the crack of dawn to pack bags, load cars and eat scrambled eggs. We arrived at our launching place on Parliament Hill with dark clouds overhead and a reasonably heavy sprinkling of rain coming down – unfortunately for us, the weather forecast was enjoying a rare moment of accuracy.
But what started as a small, damp group in front of the Centennial Flame, quickly grew to a large, excited bunch surrounded by what can only be described as a media frenzy. Andrew was pulled left and right for interviews by CBC, CTV, Metro and The Ottawa Sun, and even Grandma and Grandpa and I got our heads on TV!
By this time the sun had come out and it was almost time for the boys, along with Andrew, Kendra and young Russell from Urkai, to hit the road. We dragged Max away from his gang of playmates, and with a clunk of the bike stand and a slightly confused cry of ‘are we leaving now?’ from Andrew, away they went.
The ride to Stittsville, the first stop of the day, went smoothly. From all reports it was great to be finally out on the trail after all the months of planning and preparation. After about two hours in the saddle, it was a happy group that pulled into Stittsville Station for lunch. They were greeted by the Ottawa Fire Department with loads of gifts, a very generous donation and an invitation to sit in the fire truck and wear the Fire Chief’s hat– a definite highlight of the day for Max. After a bite to eat and a quick play in the park for Max and Russell, the cargo bikes departed again, this time to their final stop of the day in Carleton Place. En route they saw two chipmunks, two turtles (one of which was laying eggs), and had to turn back three times for things that Max had somehow thrown out of the bike. Once again, the riders reported a great time on what they described as a fantastic trail in a beautiful part of Canada.
With day one successfully completed, we are all looking forward to what the next 10 days will bring.