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Avery's Ride for PKU blog

I will be blogging about my preparation and planning leading up to the ride and will try to Blog as much as possible as I pedal across the country.

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  • So its been a few days since I last blogged so sorry for that if you are following along.  This stretch of the ride has been quite busy.  I'll start back in Kitchener for this blog.  We had a wonderful event there that raised close to 4000.00 towards the ride.  It was an extra special event for me as I was able to see a lot of friends from work and family who made the trip down for the event.  Sarah's cousin Noah was also visiting the University of Waterloo during this time and him and his sisters, Jordan and Micah and Aunt Rhonda were all able to make the trip from Pittsburgh and attend the event.  Thanks to everyone who planned the event in Cambridge and to all who came out and donated their time and money.  The highlight of the night for me was being able to have Jon, Kim and Avery attend the event.  I was so glad people could meet the little girl who inspired this whole thing.  I was able to spend a few days at home after the event which was a lot of fun with the kids.  Avery's dad, Jon also stuck around preparing to join us on the bike for a few days.  We had Jon try on the bike shoes to try to get used to clipping into the pedals in hopes of preventing any falls similar to mine earlier in the ride.  I'll talk more about that later.  John Adams, president of The Canadian PKU and Allied Disorders organization also joined us on Thursday night in Kitchener as he will be taking over the driving of the support vehicle for the rest of the ride.  I'm really happy to have John with us as he will be able to answer a lot of questions that people have had about PKU and he will be able to give a lot more info about the history of PKU and he just has some really cool stories.  John has also made it his mission to get rid of all the postcards we have for the ride which in turn will only help to spread more awareness regarding PKU.  We were originally planning to head from Kitchener to Hamilton but with nothing happening in Hamilton I decided to spend an extra day at home and head to Toronto from Kitchener.  Once we started talking about the route we decided it may make more sense to head right to Oshawa, Svends home, and spend the night there making the ride to Peterborough easier the next day.  We decided this without notifying Jon or another friend, Jeremy Sandor who was joining us on the ride so they ended up riding a lot longer than they had thought they would be.  Jeremy met up with us on Friday morning and we set out for Oshawa.  We headed through Cambridge and eventually hit Burlington.  From there we took the lakeshore through Toronto and all the construction.  We rode on the waterfront trail which was really nice.   199.5 km later we arrived at Svend's home.  I had thought the distance was going to be about 160-175 so hitting 199.5 was quite unexpected.  Jon rode 90 km until he jumped in the van.  I was quite impressed he was able to ride 90 km especially because while training for riding with us he rode 8 km.  No that is not a typo, I meant to type 8 km.  Well done Jon.  Jeremy lasted the whole 199.5 and then had to get on a train and head home to resume parenting duties.  Christine I sincerely apologize if Jeremy was completely exhausted and thereby useless when he returned to Hamilton after that crazy day.  Jon and Jeremy it was great having a few extra riders and I'm glad you guys were able to join us.  Don't worry Jon I wont tell Avery about you walking up the hill.  After we made it to Svend's house we learned that John Adams had arranged for us to meet Helen Dionne who after having two children with PKU was a driving force behind getting new born screening to be made mandatory in Ontario.  It was because of people like Helen that all children are now tested for PKU (and now a number of other things) and thereby ensuring that Avery's diagnosis of PKU was caught at a time that will allow her to grow up healthy. It really was pretty special to meet Helen

    After Oshawa we had a short but hilly ride into Peterborough.  Jon was able to join us on the bike again for 35 or 40 km.  I remember the first time I rode 90 km and I was not able to get off the couch the next day so kudos to Jon for getting up and riding another 40 km over some tough hills.  The ride was out in the country and was a nice change of pace after riding through downtown Toronto.  I wont mention that Jon fell today, but its ok because he was not riding when he fell he was standing still.  If you have ever switched from normal pedals to clip in pedals who have likely experienced this fall, at least I have.  Needless to say his fall was still not as embarrassing as mine earlier on this ride.  We arrived in Peterborough to a great reception and had a great spaghetti dinner.  We were also able to connect with Janet Swain and Frances Grove two adults with PKU and it was great to hear about their experiences with PKU.  The main event in Peterborough was scheduled for Sunday the 27th of July at the zoo and again I was so impressed with the event that was planned.  There were a number of people there that did not have any previous knowledge about PKU and it was great to be able to talk to people about that.  It was also nice to see some familiar faces from my time at Tyndale College.  Thanks to Martin and Alison Peterson for their donation that they raised at their wedding.  I also wanted to give a shout out to an old friend from Tyndale David Blondel who not only was able to get me some spare parts for my bike, wheels and shoes but also arranged for a tuneup at the local bike shop.  Thanks Dave and Wild Rock outfitters for all the help it is greatly appreciated.  The highlight of the day for me was riding into the zoo with Jonathan who also rode his bike.  Sarah, her sister Liz and the kids are now going to be following us to Ottawa so that is very exciting.  It was a really great day in Peterborough and I could have stayed longer but we needed to leave because we still had to ride to Belleville.  It was a hotter day and we started later but the ride was nice.  A lot of nice big hills and not a lot of wind.  The ride ended up being longer than expected again but we arrived at aunt Carol and Uncle Tim's at about 7pm, just in time for dinner.  If you know Sarah's aunt Carol you know that we definitely never left there hungry.  Thanks again aunt Carol and Uncle Tim for hosting us its always nice to stay with you when we are in the area.  And thanks to uncle Tim for entertaining Jonathan on the tractor.

    Today I woke up and left Belleville for Kingston in the wind and rain.  I must be getting stronger because the wind did not seem so bad and although it was cold and raining the ride was still enjoyable.  It must have been because it was a little shorted, just under 95 km, and I was looking forward to the event planned there tonight.  Tonight we are staying at the Holiday Inn in Kingston and thanks to them for donating two rooms to the ride.  Its also great to have Sarah, Liz and the kids here.  I'm so happy for them to meet the people I'm meeting and for the people we are meeting to meet my family.  Its really special to have them here with me.  After getting in and getting warm and dry we headed over to Tanya and Bryan Compeau's place for the event they had been planning.  Despite the rain the event was great.  There were lots of people there and it was great to meet more people who have been affected by PKU.  Tanya and Bryan you guys planned a great event and I just want to thank you for that.  Its really great to have people volunteering to plan these events when we come through their towns.  It goes along way to help promote awareness regarding PKU and to connect those who are effected by PKU.  As a nice little bonus to the evening I won a puck autographed by Doug Gilmour.  Tomorrow I head to Ottawa.  It will be a little longer ride tomorrow but Im looking forward to spending a few days there and reconnecting with Alison and Sean and attending their event.  I first met them in Regina so it will be nice to see them again.  Im also looking forward to staying with Jeremy's parents, Tom and Karen Sandor and of course visiting uncle Pete and aunt Rachel.       

    Having not blogged for 7 days I'm sure I've missed things and as the ride nears the final weeks I'll be better at updating the blog.  But its now late and I'm tired so I should get some sleep before a longer day tomorrow.   

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