The rainy weather that we'd dodged the last two days finally caught up with us on Day 3. Andrew took both kids on the bike for the morning, but the rain cover was a necessity to protect the precious (and delicate and sensitive to the weather) cargo inside the box. After a long ride in the drizzle, we stopped for a quick damp lunch and transferred Isla over to the car for some quality napping time on the way to Cobourg. Max soldiered on with Andrew as they were meeting some riders on the road and he was excited to see who they were, but neither he nor Andrew had any idea about the surprise they were in for.
We've seen it in previous years, most memorably in Tweed and in Smiths Falls, where a single person rallies a small town together to give us a huge welcome, and the town of Cobourg has now joined those ranks. Twenty-five kms out of town the boys were joined by a posse of riders who didn't mind braving the cold and rain, who provided company and protection from the brutal headwind for the last part of the day's ride. As the group pulled into town, the sirens blared (every time I choke up!) and they were met with a large gathering of locals under a tent (it was still raining) who were there to cheer them in and present them with gifts and donations and speeches. Max was also given a huge load of Grossery Gang toys - a gesture from the son of one of the riders - which almost blew Max's mind. To this moment he has not stopped talking about them. To see such support from people who have never met us never gets old. It's extremely humbling to have them thank us for what we're doing and recognize the effort that we're going to for our son and for all boys with Duchenne.
Once the crowd had dissipated, Andrew's wet clothing and the subsequent chill he was feeling encouraged us to get back to the hotel where we caught up with a couple of the guys who had ridden into town with him. One of them, Ian, we had met on last year's ride. He was a super nice, young guy who was touched by our situation and had kept in touch, and this year had gone to a whole lot of trouble to help our cause and to welcome us to Cobourg. He gave Max a real, personalized fireman's helmet, gave Andrew an envelope stuffed full of donations, and perhaps most wonderfully, had brought with him a cooler full of ice cold beers which we all enjoyed in the lobby of our hotel. Exactly what we needed after a long, wet day on the road.