Scotty and I have utilized the last 4 days to devise a plan on how SMA-BRAP (Scotty Mac and Brother Rusty Alliance Pact) could win the province of Ontario. After Scotty woke up at 5am to win the Province of Manitoba, Ryan vowed to never let us win another leg again, claiming “if I don’t win 95% of the yellow jerseys by the time we arrive in Halifax I will be EXTREMELY disappointed”… Scotty and I have realized that physically we can’t beat Ryan or Neville Straight up, but strategically, we are as smart as they come.
Ryan began to realize about 3 days ago that Scotty and I would break apart from the pack while riding to start discussing our plans to win Ontario. Ryan caught on to this quickly did not allow us to ride beside one another again. This is when the fun began. Private meetings, sign language, and secret calls between Scotty and I were not out of the norm. It took us all of Manitoba, but we had finally mastered the perfect plan. I’ll give it to Scotty, he knows how to connive with the best of them.
So “operation Ontario” was implemented, which was divided into 6 highly detailed phases:
- The “Fake wallet-loss” (While leaving a local bike shop in Winnipeg Scotty pretends to lose his wallet, where he goes back to the store for it but really goes back to buy a Bike Lock, which contains two keys)
- The “water bottle key” (Scotty offers to fill up every ones water bottles in the morning and plants two different keys in Neville’s and Ry’s water bottles.)
- The “Falcon Lake tea party”. (That same morning Scott convinces everyone that we need to email people and get stuff sorted out for the following week at the café above our Motel)
- “Locking the Bikes”. (Scott sneaks off downstairs during the tea party and locks all of the bikes together except for mine)
- The “Royal Wave”. (I sneak off downstairs to my unlocked bike, jump on and salute the boys who can see me from the Café)
- The “Dynasty continues” (I coast to another Province win for SMA-BRAP, while the boys are stuck wondering how to unlock their bikes)
Without trying to sound to arrogant, the plan played out perfectly. The look on Ryan’s face when I gave him the Jarmior Jagr Salute was absolutely priceless. Scotty said he had never seen Ryan move so fast to his bike, literally flying down the stairs as if they were non existent. And then for him to grab his bike and realize that they were locked together with this “phantom” lock was absolutely priceless. The only flaw in “Operation Ontario” was that Scotty had only locked his bike and Ryan’s together, leaving Neville’s bike available to ride. Neville being the champion he is, decided to take off after me, even with me having a 10 minute lead. The Ontario border was a mere 2km away, but I nearly cried when I looked back and saw a red blur gaining on me quickly. I was able to hold off the fox Neville for what I thought was a Province win.
Neville and I hung out at the border laughing about the prior events and talked about how badly we could give it to Ryan for over the next three weeks in Ontario about being outsmarted by SMA-BRAP AGAIN. We decided to back track a KM to take cover from a down pour at the Manitoba tourist center until Ryan and Scotty who were still in Falcon Lake to catch up. (Scotty and I actually decided that we couldn’t unlock Ryan’s bike until an hour after I left because he could catch me in any time less than that!) Upon their arrival at the tourist center, SMA-BRAP was able to hug and celebrate another Province win in front of a disheartened Ryan.
As we took off from the Tourist center, Scotty and I were in a twosome behind the pack still gloating and singing “we are the champions” behind Ry when we passed the Welcome to Ontario sign that I had stopped at earlier. All of a sudden something clicked in Scotty’s head. He looked over at me with this ghostly face and said “I thought the ‘Welcome to Ontario’ sign was massive and brown”?!.... Without any words or a sound, he instantly flew into Scotty Mack jet speed (about 14km/hr) and blew passed an unsuspecting, clueless Ry. The “Welcome to” sign I had been to earlier was not the real one!
It had escalated into full out 400 metre sprint to the real sign between Ry and Scotty. This is exactly what SMA-BRAP didn’t want to happen. A man on man, physical matchup against Ryan. I can honestly say I have never seen Scotty move so fast in my life. It was like when Michael Jordan scored 45 points when he was 40, Scotty was biking like his old-self! Scotty was blocking Ry from passing and it worked out perfectly that the traffic was to busy for Ryan to pass on one of the driving lanes. Scotty blew past the real Welcome to sign, winning barely by a Grizzly Bear. I witnessed all of this from a far and was ecstatic that he had covered me from my obvious screw up earlier on! The boys came back up the hill to get some photos at the sign. Scotty was so fatigued from the sprint-off he actually walked his bike up the hill, sweating, coughing and breathing heavily. Classic Mackinnon duel to win Ontario! SMA-BRAP had not only outsmarted Ryan (which was easy to do), but had actually beat him in a physical confrontation. This might have been the TSN turning point of the whole trip. SMA-BRAP was on top again! 4 provinces to zero for SMA-BRAP!
Throughout the trip Sean Neville has adopted the nickname “little Belgium” because he is always a neutral party. He will never pick a side, never make alliances and god forbid if he ever made someone upset. He does his thing everyday and no one really notices him because he doesn’t make us upset. Today, that all changed. Ry, clearly distraught from his earlier loss, biked a majority of the day with Neville. For 20 Minutes Ryan tried to convince him to join a pact with him and even offered to share the Yellow jersey for the day, while entering Kenora. Neville gladly agreed and they approached the Kenora sign, where Neville, side by side with Ry, decided to drop a gear and win the Yellow jersey for the day. Again Ry was screwed over! I feel as though no one is safe anymore if Belgium is backstabbing people!
We arrived into Kenora at about roughly 5pm after travelling about 70km. We each were given the job to find a place to stay for the night, where Ry and I found cheap camping, Scotty found us a homeless shelter and Neville of course came through in the clutch and found us a free hotel room. What do you think we took? Hotel of course. Thank you to the people at Super8 Hotel for putting us up, that was way to kind!
One of the coolest things of the day was strolling into town and realizing that Kenora was actually the hometown of Mike Richards, a forward for the NHL’s LA Kings, who happened to be playing in game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals that same night. The town was literally shut down for the game, with every pub and bar filled and the Rec Center sold out for the game. Crazy stuff. We were lucky enough to have our two friends from Comox, Romy and Charles, and new friend Mark, pick us up on their boat and bring us across to Main Street to watch the game. The town was crazy with Richards winning the cup!
Such a beautiful little town and it is refreshing to see thick and green forests again after being in the Prairies for so long. Very excited for our rest day tomorrow! Cheers,