Ride For A Dream – Day 1 and 2 – on the way to Montréal

On the road.

Ride For A Dream - Day 1 and 2

On the road to Montréal

Photos and story by Claire McFarlane 

Day One:

We made it to Darlington Provincial Park!

After a very long and eventful day of missing bags, missing people and murderous hills, the Ride For A Dream team finally arrived at our campsite.

Once we had reached 23 km (I on my trusty Giant Avail 3 bike, on loan from Giant Toronto) we took a quick PB&J break somewhere in the Scarborough area, which was when we discovered that some of the bags had been stolen from out of the trailer that was being towed by a support vehicle. This put a serious damper on the day since some of the riders lost all of their gear for the trip. They were even more devastated when they realized they had left their beer in their bags.

dandy Claire with Alexander Waddling, founder of Ride For A Dream.

There was also a slight incident where some of the riders were faster than others, but weren’t completely informed of the route, which resulted in some confusion and some temporarily lost people. However, due to the team’s resourcefulness, everyone was able to find each other eventually.

Hannah, Claire and Nick.

There were a lot of high points however, one of them being that we realized we could ride over 70 km and survive. Another, were the people cheering us on along the way. In Scarborough, a woman in her car starting honking in encouragement for us, then pulled over a little further down the road, stopped and cheered for us then drove off honking her horn for us again. It was definitely a great boost!

A swarm was created around a bag of Oreos upon arriving at the campsite before we  had dinner (rice with veggies and beans) and discussed violence against women and the different ways it can manifest; physical, verbal, sexual, and financial.

Tomorrow, we continue along our journey to Montréal and although I am already a little sore I cannot wait to spend another day biking with this amazing team.

Nick, from Montréalby the lake.

Day Two:

Another day and another 110 km down! We finally all arrived at our campsite at around 9 p.m. last night, June 2, in Campbellford, which meant that we had been biking for about 11 hours minus a couple water and snack breaks.

Needless to say, the team and I were seriously exhausted and sore, especially after biking a route that had was just hill after hill after hill. We are told however that the rest of the journey is mostly downhill.

We had breakfast delivered to our tent because it was raining.

Some of the riders had to be driven back to the campsite yesterday due to exhaustion, which seems to have brought down the team's energy. We are, however, optimistically continuing on to Sharbot Lake.

As exciting as this is, it'll be hard to beat the scenery from yesterday. We rode lakeside for a while, which was not only incredibly beautiful but came with a complementary and gorgeous breeze. We also rode through some lovely farmlands, which were especially beautiful during the sunset.

The flat tire incident.

I’ve already picked up a few long distance cycling tricks liking gearing up and gaining all the power you can before hitting the upward on a big hill.

Putting sunscreen on my back is also something I need to remember to do (I’m finding it hard to wear a shirt today). I’ve also started to develop a killer cyclists tan on the top of my thighs and on the sides of my arms that I’m sure will give me some serious cred in the biking community when I get back to Toronto.

Claire and Hannah.

I also learned that I need to eat anything and everything whenever I get the chance because your body needs as much energy as it can get and you get hungry fairly easily. When the first bunch of us got back last night we grabbed all the food we could and carried it into the nearest tent (the mosquitoes are terrible) and just started gorging. The green beans we escaped with were the best green beans I had ever tasted in my life.

This is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but the thought of a tall beer and a huge poutine waiting in Montréal are what keep me biking… as well as the feeling of accomplishment and empowerment I will get once I finally reach our ultimate destination.

Next stop: Sharbot Lake!

The RFAD crew posing at Yonge-Dundas Square last Sunday June 1, just before heading off to Montreal.

Related on the dandyBLOG:

Giant Bike Fit for Ride for a Dream

The Ride For A Dream training begins

Ride For A Dream 2014 will ride to Montreal to help end violence against women

Giant Toronto grand opening

Bon Voyage Ride For A Dream Team

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