Today marks the completion of our first week on the road and to celebrate the occasion we were treated to a rather exciting morning. First on the agenda was the arrival of Max’s school buddy, Cole along with his twin sister, Audrey and their mum, Heather. The kids ran riot on the lakefront and I was happily reassured that Max isn’t the only child who loves to whack himself in the face for fun.
Next up was the appearance of Eran from TO Events and his family who were joining the first half of today’s ride. Everybody put on Max’s Big Ride t-shirts and climbed aboard their bikes in preparation for the ride out of town... WITH A POLICE ESCORT!
With lights flashing, the cool cop led our cavalcade of cyclists and cars out onto the road and down to the start of the Trans Canada Trail. It felt pretty special making left hand turns without having to watch for cars because a police motorbike was stopping traffic. Another trip highlight right there.
One more newspaper interview, some more photographs, and off they all rode on what was promised to be a smooth path. Now riding through more heavily populated areas, Andrew and the gang passed lots of other riders, walkers and joggers, and even saw their first person on horseback, a big change from having the trail all to themselves as they have until today.
With grey skies overhead rain threatened, but the riders made it to Omemee for lunch in dry, but cooler than usual conditions. A local church group, who was holding a sausage sizzle in the main street of town, spontaneously donated lunch to the riders – another great example of people doing what they can to make a positive difference to our day.
After lunch we pressed onto Lindsay where we were stopping at another Kawartha Dairy ice cream shop to finish the day’s tour. It was a subdued welcome, but we managed to fight our way through the tumbleweeds to get ourselves some more ice cream. I know at least one person who is going to have to go on a diet once we get back to Hamilton.
I called Andrew as he was riding today and I could hear a kid crying in the background. For a moment I was worried that it was Max, but it turned out not to be and once again I was reminded of what a trouper our little fella has been since we embarked on this expedition. Not once has he complained or cried, but instead has approached every single day as an adventure and an opportunity to make more friends and have more fun. Part of that fun was heading back to the hotel swimming pool before dinner. It was pure joy to see his little head sticking out of the shallow end, and to watch him jumping and hopping so proudly, all by himself. I still remember the two year old who said to me, ‘Mumma, I don’t learn how to jump’. My heart broke then, and to see him finally buoyed by the water and jumping just like any other kid made my heart swell with happiness and pride.
By dinner time the rain had rolled in and wasn’t supposed to let up for a good 24 hours, but Andrew spirit was not dampened. He told me he’s feeling good physically and mentally and with the first week behind us and only 4 days to go, nothing can stop us now (we hope!).