Scotty Mac in Da House.
Waking up early from Waterton Lakes Park we decided to get an early start on the day as we had a large 134 Kilometres staring us in the face and a fundraising event we had to make it to in Lethbridge that night. Our first event and first place we HAD to be to on time. I was quite nervous.
Our journey consisted of our first Tail Wind of the trip, an 800-foot descent and Ryan and Russ fighting for Richy Steeds attention. After being with each other for over 12 days the arrival of Richy has spurred a full on mating-esq battle between my youngest two brothers for his attention.
Richy Steed could possibly be Hughie Mac’s clone, a man stuck in a 15 year olds 95lb body, Richy fights inner battles between being a conservative oil loving capitalist and free spirit tree hugging hippie. Having one of the most contagious personalities ever, Richy’s own perfected dialogue somehow leaches onto everything you say and do. Probably one of the most entertaining and selfless people ever, Richy a favorite in the Mackinnon Family has become our Prairie Grizzly bear. Here is a quick translation of Richy Steed’s own language.
1. “Do you think that maybe”: You must start your sentence with this if you are asking for a favor, no matter how big or small. This is a must. If you start the sentence with this expression the favor will be granted. I have used this a ton on him!
2. “Munchkin”: Any small kid under the age of 6 who is flying around covered in mud and with a scoop of Ice Cream on their face.
3. “Lunker”: A big fish that grows by ten pounds every time you hear the story of someone catching it.
4. “BumbleBeeeeeee”: Every sentence must finish in Richy singing this in an opera voice with lots of infliction.
5. “My Guy”: Everyone who he feels is a cool dude is referred to as “HIS GUY”.
We roll into McGrath, Alberta a small farming community just southwest of Lethbridge. Russ finally gets the small town Alberta experience he has been waiting for. As we roll up to the only Grocery store in town, Russ walks in and sees 5 older gentlemen sitting down all wearing a combination of trucker hats, cowboy hats and flannel. Russ going big eyed, embarrassingly waves me over excited for his first farming experience. Within seconds the men who sit in this particular spot all day long are peppering Russ with questions in a long drawling accent. Russ amazed by what is going on is in his element and decides right there on the spot he wants to become a cowboy.
Speaking of Russ, I made the mistake of telling him that I had received an email from a good friend and colleague from the Philippines and his little brother (Next great basketball player in the CIS if I can convince him to stay in Canada and not go to the states) that Brother Rusty was their favorite from the blogs and that he sounded like a real character. When I told Russ this he looked at me sincerely touched and responded, “ I have a Fan Club?” for the next half an hour Russ talked about parlaying this Biking for Baha thing into an appearance on Ellen, The Late Show with Lettermen and one day making it onto TMZ where he could meet the guy with the coffee cup and the one with the shimmering golden hair. It was a long 30 minutes.
Entering Lethbridge, Dr. Jon Doan a professor and Parkinson’s researcher at the University of Lethbridge (My Alma Mater) orchestrated a group of cyclists composed of University professors, old uni friends and current Parkinson researchers to cycle to the outskirts of Lethbridge and lead us to the Lethbridge Lodge Hotel where Jon had organized a free 2-night stay, delicious dinner from Coco-Pazzo’s restaurant and a refreshing cooler full of hops. Weaving through my old stomping grounds with this kind of support was something I never expected at all, my brothers who have heard me rave about Lethbridge for years were blown away by experiencing this passionate, loyal and supportive community first hand.
Arriving at the Lodge to local Lethbridge media I was so happy that my brothers finally understood that I was not lying when I self proclaimed myself the greatest Male Pronghorn basketball player of all time with a knee brace on his right knee. (Unfortunately my good friend Eoin Colquhoun and Travis Grindle informed me later that night that Tim Rollingson Jr had his knee brace on his right knee) so I am now the greatest Male Pronghorn basketball player of all time with a knee brace on his right knee from Vancouver Island. Regardless finally my little brothers knew that I was once the BIG DAWG. (Ha Ha)
The fundraising event that night was amazing. I get goose bumps just thinking about it. There was way more people than we expected and everyone was so positive about the cause and again our morale was boosted. A bunch of my old pronghorn teammates showed up. Timmy “Whitey” Whithead, Bruce “You stole my job” Carbert, Matty B and Richy Steed I cannot thank you boys enough. It meant the world to me to see you guys and I feel blessed to have been able to call you teammates. My boys TG, Eoin, JPT, Tim and long lost buddy Justin made me miss Lethbridge and want to come back and Kelly Jo was there to always lend a hand and make sure we laughed together all night long. Kel is a great friend!
By far the most meaningful event of my entire trip happened this night. Dr. Jon Doan who is one of the most charismatic men and speakers I have ever met. (Not to mention he has an epic head of hair) spoke to me at length about his extremely interesting and relevant studies involving Physical Activity/Exercise (Specifically Music and Ice Skating) and it’s use as a coping mechanism in Parkinson’s at the University of Lethbridge. Jon who is ridiculously intelligent according to his PHD/Masters students and myself showed a great talent in being able to explain his research to me at the Scotty Mac level. I remember my grandfather exercising at length to find some relief from Parkinson’s symptoms and it was neat to hear Jon explain his findings. Jon explained to me that one of the reasons he was so passionate about his work and research was the hope that the Parkinsonian’s he worked with possessed. Not just the hope in finding a better way for them to cope with this disease but the selfless hope for the next generation of Parkinsonians and the possibility of new techniques or a cure. I thought this was one of the more profound things I have heard in a while.
During the night Jon introduced me to young man named JP Sutherland an inspiring Parkinsonian who has been using Ice Skating as a release and coping mechanism. Hearing JP speak about his fight and looking into his eyes, I saw the grit and determination that my Baha had, I know JP is a fighter, felt his spirit and I was touched to hear his story. He went out of his way for us, making Biking for Baha Bandana's which Russ has not took off since we left Lethbridge. If I had my way all of the money we raised would go to this applicable and constructive research Jon and the U of L are putting together! I am a huge fan of his!