Day 6: Campbellford to Peterborough

Today we set off under a bright blue sky for Campbellford. We had a mission and it wasn’t just a 58km ride to Peterborough. We had been told we needed to try some cream filled donuts from Dooher’s Bakery and we were extremely committed to the task.

The boys departed with Max in very good spirits, partly due to the new bug catcher containing a plastic deer fly on his wrist, and as Andrew pedaled off towards Hastings for his morning break, I set off to Dooher’s for a six pack of some pretty incredible looking pastries.  

We reconvened at a picturesque gazebo on the Trent River. It had been slow going for Andrew on the bike – the trail was still unmade and in pretty rough condition which was starting to take its toll. We sat down and opened up the box of donuts, and about 3.5 seconds later they were all gone and every body was declaring them to be the best they’d ever had. If you ever go to Campbellford, do yourself a favour and get a box of these babies.

After a quick chat to an elderly fellow who just wanted to say hi and shake Andrew’s hand, we pinpointed a place where the trail crossed County Road 38 for lunch, and the cargo bike pulled away again. The support crew killed a bit of time in the gazebo before driving on to our designated lunch spot where we arrived a few minutes before a very cheerful Andrew and Max came into sight. The quality of the trail had improved significantly, and quite frankly, our knack for tracking the bike and timing our arrivals was becoming a little too good. Things were looking up indeed.

Not long after we polished off another picnic and Andrew completed another radio interview, we pushed onto Peterborough for today’s ice cream shop finishing line. We had a small, but significant group of people gathered there to greet us today. In addition to the local media and some friendly faces from the Peterborough Arrowsmith School who had gifts for Max, was Catie Sims, a woman wearing a top emblazoned with the phrase ‘End Duchenne’ who was clearly very passionate about our cause. A few years ago she had signed up to the Who I Run4 program where keen runners run for those who can’t. She had been paired with a 9-year-old DMD sufferer from Nashville, Tennessee and clearly the partnership was very meaningful for her. Catie had collected a huge jar of money that she donated to Max’s Big Ride and which meant the world to us. Also there was super runner Scott Cannata who completed The Run to Live: 202 marathons across Canada over eight and a half months to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Scott was a great guy who stuck around and showed us some hot tips for face-to-face fundraising, something that Team MBR is a little uncomfortable with even at this stage of the game.

We all got stuck into some ice cream at Kawartha Dairy, where the shop was donating a portion of sales to Max’s Big Ride, so if we needed an excuse to indulge this was definitely it. Not that we needed one…

The group slowly dissipated. We waved good-bye to Cathy Koop and her lovely son Leif who had driven all the way from Hamilton to spend the afternoon with us, packed up the van and took off back to the hotel for some rest before yet another big day on the road.