Ry Mack soaring over Neville
Ryan Mac got his paparazzi on!-View from our gracious hosts house Sean Ryan-Aylwards.
We had to stop at the Highlander Pub in the Byward Market (Our dad's favourite in Ottawa)
View to our next province, Quebec!
The boys in front of Chateau Laurier! Where is Ryan?
Sean-Ryan Aylward, Jessica and the boys!- You were far too nice to us bums!
Article in the Ottawa Metro.
Rideau Canal with the man who knows all in Ottawa, Sean Ryan Aylward!
Rusty is a little excited to get to Parliament Hill.
Ryan mac here.
Today was our last day for a push to Ottawa and to a couple well deserved rest days. Our trip has been crazy in Northern Ontario. For 14 straight days we have been biking over a total of 2000 km's. What a journey and adventure. To say the least us MacKinnon boys have never looked so forward to our rest days. This morning we had a measly 115 km's to Ottawa. This meant that from our beautiful campsite behind a church in Cobden to Ottawa which was an absolute breeze. However, last night we had our first run in with the long arm of the law. As we got into Cobden late, we scrambled for a campsite. We decided to pitch our tents behind a beautifully gardened, landscaped, weeded lawn behind the church. Looked like a modern day Town of Comox lawn maintained by Gaylen and Jared. However, looked like more than one person was working on it at once. Scotty and I decided to stroll up to the church to set up as it was getting pretty late. Rusty and Neville stayed behind at a local convenience store to charge up their I-Phones( I don't know what they would do without constant contact to their friends). I guess some local Cobdenians saw us two scronny, 6"4 Mac Bros stumble to the back. Russ and Neville who were oblivious to any sort of report pedalled up the hill. As they turned into the Church driveway, sirens roared. This is how they both described their reactions:
Russ: -Scrambled to jump off his bike, screaming "I didn't do nothing, I didn't do nothing"
Sean: -Calmly leaned his bike against the pole, pulled out his I.D. and started humming the song "Bad Boys, Bad Boys, watcha gonna do, Watcha gonna do"
The cops immediately began to question the boys. Wondering what these two B.C. hippies were doing in their town. Calmly, Sean Neville described the situation and our story and had the police high -fiving, hugging and possibly donating to our cause.
**All at this time Scotty and I are freaking out peering around the corner thinking that Russ and Sean are being taken to the local jail. Luckily, things all worked out and nothing bad happened because of it!
We rode on country roads, avoiding the hectic 417 highway on route to the capital city. Sean Neville was behind us navigating the country back roads along farms with his I-Phone. As we rode about 20 km out of the city, Rusty and Sean Neville fell apart. Their relationship is like a teeter-totter. Never at any point is there a happy medium. They are either best friends or huge enemies looking to literally beat each other up. On route in, things got crazy as Russ and Sean began calling each other out for no apparent reason. They gave low blows, high blows, gut shots and what I call, "Make sure you never ever make fun of someone for this shots". Things got crazy, Russ was fuming and Sean Neville was cruising.(Sick unintentional rhyme). This trip has been successful so far because of a metaphor that I call:
"The No Problem Hamburger":
The Top and Bottom Bun: Scotty and Ryan literally holding the crew together. The glue that keeps the team and brings the energy.
The Meat: Rusty, full of protein and ready to rock. Too much of it you get the meat sweats.
The Veggies: Sean Nevilles, green hippy attitude usually has the crew feeling ALRIGHTT!
**Basically without the veggies and meat happy together, the burger is no good.
Anyways, Ross will give you an in-depth shot into what we had going on in Ottawa. The capital city! We made it. Love you all BYE! Ryan
We woke up today in Mattawa, Ontario a quaint little town sitting on the Ottawa River. Directly across the water staring us right in the face was my next big accomplishment, Quebec! Ryan teased me all night long that he was going to find a Canoe, paddle his way across the river, portage the Canoe over the mountain until he crossed the border into Quebec. The sad thing is I was a little scared by this, as I actually believed that the OX could actually succeed in doing that. I slept with one eye open.
Ryan has been talking a lot of smack to me lately and it is time to humble his green, youthful boldness. I am letting everyone know right now, I am going to beat Ryan fair and square in a sprint off to the Quebec Sign. No fooling or Tricking, I am taking my fourth province and the out right championship by beating Ryan physically as a man should. We will see whose chest is puffed out prancing around like a peacock when all is said and done, I can guarantee it will not be my puberbescent little brother.
Our Uncle Dave was so right. He mentioned to us that his favorite time to ride was at dusk. Somewhere between 6PM and sunset. This is by far my favorite time. The temperature is perfect, the extraordinaire sunsets are magical, the roads quiet, the animals out; it is honestly the essence of tranquility. (I have never used that word in my entire life-However the definition of tranquil now for me is cycling Canada at sunset.)
Russ is convinced he is going to meet his one true soul mate in the next week. He says she is waiting for him in Quebec, with one spoon and a massive plate of Poutine. What describes romance better to Russ than Cheese Curds and gravy! Russ has begun to drive me loopier than ever. Russ is the king of getting under peoples skin, he knows when he has you and when he has you it is over. For the last four days in preparation for Quebec Russ has been singing Shania Twain songs, if that isn’t annoying enough Russ keeps telling me that she is French Canadian. Now I know Russ knows Shania is not French Canadian however he knows if he continues to pretend that he thinks Shania is Celine Dion eventually I am going to explode. He almost had me today as he belted out “ Man, I feel like a woman” in a French Canadian accent and then said, “ I love that girl, and she had the best movie song ever in Titanic.”
Russ used to always listen to me. He was my guy. If I ever needed back up, something done or if I had a fun filled fact, Russ would be all ears. It all changed about five years ago. Five years ago, I started to teach abroad. Through out those five years I probably saw Russ a combined five times. I have noticed a change in his attitude, receptiveness and our relationship and know that there is a little bit of a disconnect between us. Missing a lot of Russ’s formative learning years, he has some serious angst and brother issues regarding me, something I have tried to work on throughout this trip. We are currently considering sneaking counseling and some guidance. However it has been difficult. During these five years abroad, Russ started a real BRO-MANCE (Truest sense of the word-Brother Romance) with a guy named Gaylen Franklin. Gaylen is the greatest guy in the world and I am a huge fan of his however Russ LOVES him. Says he is the older brother he never had. Russ will do whatever he wants, when he wants, how he wants. I guess when you spend so much time together working those long, hard shifts for the Town of Comox you are bound to bond. Russ quotes him all the time and believes that Gaylen literally could walk on water. Anytime I have tried to have a serious conversation with Russ this trip he will always reference talking to Gaylen first and seeing what he says. Russ’s analogies always have to do with food; I will give you one that he gave to me. “Scotty, you are the Presidents Choice of Peanut Butter, you do the job, nothing really special, are good enough but not quite the real thing. Gaylen is the Skippy of the Peanut Butter world, a pillar of quality and taste. In the end Presidents Choice just does not compare to Skippy.”
SO GAYLEN I NEED YOUR HELP!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE TELL RUSS SHANIA TWAIN IS NOT CELINE DION AND TO STOP PRETENDING THAT SHE IS.
We arrived in Cobden, Ontario at 9:30PM after finishing 185KM with a helpful push from a lovely tail wind. Cobden, population 1,000 had zero food outlets still open so we scrambled to make it to the gas station on time and had a really healthy dinner of chips and Gatorade. As darkness approached, Ryan and I took off to set up our tents where we decided to stay the night on the Pentacostal churches lawn. Russ and Sean who had stayed behind to charge their precious i-Phones would follow. After 30 minutes Ryan and I were worried about the other two. I walked from behind the perched church to look and see where they were, when I passed the corner I saw a cop car, Russ and Sean, and them pulling their ID’s out. The story will be told in more depth in tomorrows blog!
We just need to make it to Ottawa!
Riding into Cobden. After 194KM.
The church that we almost got arrested at in Cobden.
HUGE THANKS TO ENSIGN ENERGY SERVICES
Huge thank you to Ensign Energy Services for their silver sponsorship of 1,000 dollars. I have worked for them on and off for ten years now and they have always treated me as well as I could have ever asked for, with respect and went out of their way to help me and make me feel comfortable. Thanks Ensign!
We sent out an email asking a lot of people we have met and touched us through our travels so far to explain their experience with Parkinsons Disease. We were not surprised to see our new friend and one of the most inspirational people we have met on this tour, JP Sutherland to respond first. JP knows more about what it is like to deal with PD and its trials and tribulations than we could ever imagine, so I think his words have so much more validity.
Thank you JP!
So when I was asked to write something to explain my experience of being diagnosed with young onset PD and why raising money for research is so important, I was very excited to share my story because I know there are many people out there like me that have been through a rollercoaster of crap trying to get answers. But my wife reminded me about the politics of speaking out. She has been through so much and is scared of offending any of the neurologists I have seen. Let me explain.
My diagnosis has never been straight forward and I have been diagnosed with everything from functional disorder, Atypical PD, PD…… One of the reasons for this is PD is a clinical diagnosis; there is no test for PD. Unfortunately the there is a huge misdiagnose rate in PD. It can takes years for some people to get diagnosed but people can also be diagnosed with PD and not have it. That means there could be a lot of people in clinical studies that do not have PD and people in the control group that do, messing up results of studies.
That is why raising money for research is so important not only for a cure but for a test for PD. I truly believe finding a test for PD is vital step into finding a cure.
Out of all the charities I have looked into THE MICHAEL J. FOX FOUNDATION for PARKINSON'S RESEARCH is one that stands out as using funds to make the biggest difference and uses the money the most efficiently. So when I heard about Scott, Sean, Ross and Ryan Mackinnon biking across Canada, for Team Fox, I was eager to help out.
It is unfortunate that they have found out about the politics of fundraising and how territorial different charities can be.
Please show your support for these amazing men that have taken on such a grueling challenge in order to help millions of PD suffers and their families. It means the world to my family, friends and me.
Sean Neville's Halfway TOP TEN Highlights
· Scotty has black curls
· My mustache curling over my lips are close in the lead
· Ryan's Neard "neck beard"
· Rusty's Mexican dirt he calls facial hair isn’t far behind.
2) Best lines:
· “No need for an alarm clock when we have tree falling on our head”-(Sean Neville after the tree landed on our bikes- Catherine’s Cove)
· “The next leg of your trip is the hardest leg of all Canada”
· (Every morning in every town while Scotty get his green tea fix .
· “Flying Deer”
· (every time we see a "watch for deer" sign the person in front yells FLYING DEER we are still yet to see a flying deer)
3) Best Bails:
· Ryan Mac goes straight over his handle-bars on the descent from Sunday summit (While staring out at deer)
· Scotty Mac running from the hurricane/moonson in Lake Superior Provincial park laid out on his side landing in a puddle.
· Rusty falls side ways at 1km an hour as he gets his booties stuck
· Neville bailing while asking for directions in Hager
4) Worst natural elements
· Head winds
· Black flies.
5) Best natural elements
· Tail winds
6) Mental Break Downs:
· Scotty head between his legs rocking and admitting that he might not make it.(Fernie B.C.)
· Sean Neville losing his mind at his bike and dragged it across the gas station parking lot. (Fernie B.C.)
· Rusty throws mattress across the campsite with his eyes on focusing Scotty. (Savanne river,ONT)
· Ryan hides himself in his jacket and doesn't say a word for 3 hours descending from bonanza summit (Castlegar, B.C.)
7) Random run-ins:
· Hip hop artist Obie Trice on the side of the highway with his crew somewhere just east of Kenora.
· The stone family seeing us everyday from Sault Ste. Marie to North bay (McDonald's, subway etc.).
· -Cousin Paul Munro as we off loaded the Kokanee ferrie.
8) Top Biking Singing Songs:
· Nikki Minaj- starships
· Katy perry California girls
· Sean Kingston-Beautiful girl.
· Carly Rae Jepsen-Call me maybe
9) Craziest moments.
· The German and black bear
· Tree falling on our bikes
· Attack of the black flies,
· Harri - awesome,
· Morrison's – amazing
· Doctor Jon Doan- Unbelievable
· Lethbridge lodge- A blast
· Humphreys house- incredible
· Cousin Jess lynch, Joe and Charlie's – perfect
· Indomes- unreal
· Paterson's -the best
· Brittons- lovely
· Halls- great.
We have been in Ontario for ten days now and all I've heard from the locals is how many moose are in this area. I have been on my bike 12 hours a day for 10 days and have not seen one moose but I have seen many other things on this trip Moosejaw, Moose 95.3 fm, Moose signs, Moose socks, stuffed moose and moose tracks ice cream. Please tell me there's something wrong with this?
Last night we spent the night on a field/bug factory in front of a random hotel in Hager. We later became the main course for the mosquitos and there was nothing we could do about! It was raining when we woke up and the bugs were still out so it was a quick exit. We made it to North Bay by 2pm and only had another 60km to ride so we decided to hit subway, as we would! Then WIFI at McDonalds to wait out the rain. The manager came up to us asking questions about our bikes and where we are headed. Soon his employee whose grandfather has PD was excited to hear all about us and or cause, asking how to donate. Next thing you know the staff wanted to get picture with us. While this was all going on the Stone family walked in which had seen us numerous times over the last few days. Mainly in subways! Very friendly people and we thank you for the donations and wish you all the best. We left North bay in full force trying to out run a storm and arrived in Mattawa where we hit a Chinese restaurant. Didn't leave anything on the plates after devouring a 6-person dinner.
I would like you say a big thanks to everyone who's still interested in us and our cause, following the blogs and supporting us all the way home. WE HAVE RAISED 65% OF OR GOAL and are still pushing. We will not give up! A BIG Thanks from the MacKinnon Boys
AGAIN A MASSIVE THANK YOU TO OUR AMAZING,UNBELIEVABLE, SUPPORTIVE SPONSORS:
· David W. GrunderLlaw Corporation
- Ben Davies Financial Planning
· Odlum Brown
· Adamschek Construction Ltd
· First Insurance
· Neuromotion Physiotherapy
· WE international Inc Philippines
· Macbros Basketball Camp
· Canadian Outback Adventures
· Remax Marc Villanueva
· Dr. J.P. Claasen
· Ensign Energy Services
With out you we wouldn’t be even close to our ultimate goal. You helped make this all possible and keep us inspired. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Sean Neville & the boys
We just arrived in the Top Four Research Fundraisers for Team Fox this year. Thanks so much for the support as we are one step closer to arriving at our goal of $40,075! Two thirds of the way through our trip we gotta make a push right now to reach that goal. Keep them support coming! Thanks again.
The Mackinnon Boys
Courtenay and Emma from Mcdonalds in North Bay! Fun people to meet!
Sunsets riding into Mattawa, Ontario. 300KM from Ottawa
We are Hatton and Northern Ontario is Manny Pacquiao, Let me explain!
Northern Ontario deserves its due. After almost ten days of getting pummeled by the wilderness that coasts along Lake Superior. It is time this monster got its due. Sometimes I feel that British Columbians (Myself Included) have a little bit of arrogance in regards to the scenic value of our province. “Beautiful BC” “The Greatest Place on Earth” are two of our provinces slogans. Sometimes I feel like we do not give the rest of Canada the credit that it deserves. No more so have I noticed that in Northern Ontario with its world-class beauty. Having said that we have got our butt kicked for the last 8 days since we left the sweet confides of the Britton household in Thunder Bay and we now have a new respect for mother nature.
Being a sports guy I am going to compare the difficulties of Northern Ontario to Boxing. In my mind BC is a heavy weight boxer, a Mike Tyson clone, one trick pony that can knock you out with one massive shot (Mountain Passes) but lacks the difficulties and versatility that Northern Ontario provides.
I would compare Northern Ontario to the best pound for pound boxer in the world at the moment, the fighting pride of the Philippines Mr. Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao (He got robbed in the Bradley fight) because of both of their diverse ability to finish you off and their extreme power, here is why:
1) Black Flies-Manny’s Jab: Manny’s jab is relentless it comes from so many unique angles, pesters and annoys opponents, hurts, stings and darts in and out. The black flies are the same, they attack you consistently never letting you get comfortable, stinging on every portion of your body. They wear you down, and down, and DOWN!!! Watching the four of us dance around on the side of the road trying to fix a flat tire and not get bitten by the bugs must be a sight to see. These disgusting creatures have broken us down mentally!
2) Rolling Hills-Manny’s Fitness: The hills keep Rolling and Rolling and Rolling. They are endless. There is no sense of accomplishment at the top of them, as you know there are about 1000 of them left. They are consistent, just like Pacquiao whose fitness level is legendary. Manny could literally fight a 36 round fight and still be bouncing for more.
3) The Fog- Manny’s Quickness: You cannot see anything along the Lake Shore. The fog literally presents 5 feet of visibility. Semi Trucks fly past you before you even see them coming. We lost Brother Russ in a thick grey cloud that consumed him for what felt like an hour. How do you lose Russ? He is the loudest, most annoying person ever! You cannot see Manny’s punches coming because of this quickness. He bounces all over the ring raining down undetected punches on his opponents. The fog and Manny both destroy your vision, which is a very eerie thing to be apart of.
4) The Thunderstorms-Manny’s Combinations: Combining all of these vicious elements Thunderstorms roll in unnoticed trouncing everything in its path. Winds, lightning, rain, thunder and more rain, these storms hit every last bit of will you had. Manny’s combinations are the same, putting you to the ground in a matter of milliseconds with right jabs, left hooks and upper cuts
5) Lastly the most important element, strategically brilliant! Manny has Freddie Roach (A Parkinson’s Sufferer), by far the best boxing trainer in the world. Freddie’s combination of know how, ability to adjust to diverse situations and fighters and overall superior strategy have taken Manny above and beyond his physical skill and prowess would have ever allowed him. Northern Ontario is the exact same, it knows your weakness, it knows when you are about to snap, it knows when to pick up your spirits a little with a beautiful lake to swim in only to have hundreds of black flies attack you when you come out. Northern Ontario knows all! I have never met an opponent like it, EVER.
For 7 days we have wanted to throw in the white towel, looked at each other in shock as mutant like mosquitoes ravaged our bodies but somehow we made it out alive. BARELY ALIVE, as you can tell by this next story….
Cycling as hard as we could, we finally after 12 hours pulled into Catherine’s Cove in Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario at 10PM just as darkness was setting in. The day had been a lesson in humility as Northern Ontario punished us for our arrogance in thinking we were past the halfway point and everything was going to be down hill from here. Sean, who finished the last 30KM with broken spokes was physically a wreck, Russ and myself sopping wet from the 6 hour rain cloud that had perched directly above our heads were mentally fatigued and Ry Mac was furiously trying to fight off the hundred 6 pound mosquitoes leached onto his back. Hearing there were bears in the area, we quickly engulfed our poor excuse for a supper and hid the rest of our food in the farthest outhouse from our tents so the bears could not smell it.(Intelligent I know) What we did not know beforehand is Catherine’s Cove is not a camp site, it is just a small, stunning cove set in the middle of this enormous provincial park. As we dived in to our tents to escape the rain, bugs, lightning and thunder we really had no idea what to expect for the night. Having experienced tropical storms in the Philippines I can safely tell you I have seen some pretty impressive typhhons. The one the four of us experienced that night in Catherine’s Cove is nothing I have ever seen before in my entire life. Lightning bolts lit up the sky and our tents as though someone was shining a flashlight directly in your eyes; coupled with ear numbing thunder and winds that almost lifted our tents off of the ground we were very nervous to fall asleep. When we finally did, everything went array. At 3:30am in the morning, we heard a “tick, tick, tick, tick, crack, crack, crack, BOOM!!!!!!!!!!” that had never scared any of us more in our lives. Sleeping beside Ryan he instantly sat up similar to a mummy resurrected from the dead and looked at me scared. All I could see was the whites of his eyes. I still get chills. As the lightning and thunder continued to spit down on us. I heard Russ scream as loud as he could, “ Guys, Guys, Are you okay?” The next 3 minutes was a blur of Russ and Sean wrestling each other and their uncooperative tent trying to find our flashlight, the four of us scampering out to assess the damage and the expression of horror when we saw what had happened. Literally less than 10 feet from our tent lay a colossal 500-pound pine tree that had been snapped in half by the irate wind. The ironic part of all of this was the fact that of all places the tree could have fell in this enormous park, it fell directly on top of all four of our bikes, smashing Sean’s gear changer, mirror and part of his frame. Scared and nervous I looked at Sean Neville, the bravest of the bunch for encouragement, when I saw the look of pure terror on his face I knew we were in trouble. Still getting peppered with rain, sleep in our eyes we made the brash decision that we were moving our tents out onto the beach and away from all of the timbering trees. The next 2 hours was spent having lightning bolts fire off above our heads, rain pelt directly through our thrifty tents and sleeping pretty much inside Lake Superior. Crawling out of our destroyed tents in the morning we knew we had been checked. Northern Ontario is a beast I never want to deal with again.