After a week of rain it was refreshing to wake up to the shining sun nearly as beautiful as Kathy Mack’s sparkling smile. The spot we camped at last night was gorgeous, located on a little point overlooking Spanish River with us being the only people tenting.
Hitting the road a little after 8:30 was no problem, as Ryan and Scotty had brought enough energy to fuel all of us. The trash talk had officially started over who was going to win the Province of Quebec. Throughout the first hour they went back and forth over who was going to win and why. Finally, Ryan aggressively claimed that “Scotty could not beat him one on one” and that he could only win if he cheated. And with all due respect to Scotty, all of his Province wins had occurred because of well-calculated plans that involved one thing: that Ryan didn’t win at any cost. So I was shocked when Scotty took Ry’s comments personally and challenged him to a fair, mano-a-mano bike-off for the Province of Quebec. It was finally set. NO locking bikes, NO waking up at 5AM for fake Skype dates, and NO cheating whatsoever.
However there was one stipulation. Scotty would ride Baha’s touring bike (which is a road-style bike) and Ry would have to use Baha’s touring bike (which is more of a mountain bike style). Ry, suspicious of this move still agreed to this one on one epic match up. I think this rivalry has the potential to match such rivalries as Highland vs Vanier, Nadal vs Federer, and Coyote vs Road runner (Ry being the road runner). For the next 5 hours of the day Neville and I had to deal with Scotty practicing what he called his ‘passes’ using his “5 step attack”. He would start about 20 metres behind Ryan and start pedaling as quickly as possible passing him on his left and blocking him in. After about 15 of these passes I asked Scotty what his strategy was in beating Ryan and he explained to me his “5 step attack”:
1) Speed (He would start 20 metres behind and gain velocity with his chicken legs pumping at optimal speed)
2) Scan (Watch for oncoming traffic and find the perfect time to pass Ry on his left)
3) Monitor (Once the pass is made Scotty rides in the middle of the lane, putting all his weight on his left side, looking over his right shoulder to make sure Ryan doesn’t try to make a pass)
4) Block (By keeping Ryan on the inside of him, Scotty claims that there is no way of him making a pass)
5) WIN (Coast to another easy Province victory)
Seeing such an athletic person like Scotty make biking look so difficult might actually be the funniest thing ever. I don’t know who is going to win this bike off for the Province, but I am going to be sitting behind these two guys soaking every second of it in.
One thing that I have notice over the lat 35 days or so is how competitive us Mackinnon brothers are. Even over something as silly as a yellow jersey. I think we partially get this from our amazing BAHA. Anyone who had met this amazing man can remember how he had a competitive streak in him. I remember this vividly as a child watching him play Clue with the my Aunts and Uncles! This fun-loving, though often competitive streak ran through his children as well. I remember prior to my Cousin Kyle’s wedding reception a huge soccer game breaking out in the backyard, with Uncle Dave spearheading this fun-filled game, leaving about 20 of us with grass-stains all over our formal attire. In typical Munro-Mackinnon fashion we were back to the reception like a group of adolescent children who had just got caught stealing from a candy story. We are STILL sorry for that illadivised soccer game Dani and Kyle! Anyways, that competitive atmosphere has continued over this whole trip and I honestly think it is a main reason why we make it everyday, as we couldn’t imagine being the only one to quit!
The day went by very smoothly. It is crazy how the weather determines your attitude for the day. Normally we all try to be positive, but it’s some times tough when you are being smashed in the face with 9000 litres of rain. The one thing that never changes is the last 30KM of the day. No matter how far we travel, whether it is 65KM or 170KM , the last 30KM are soooo painful. It is totally a mental block, but we all struggle hugely with this last stretch. It is normally our butts that feel the worse and we all have different ways of making the pain go away. Any time there is a hill we all go into certain poses that relieves the pressure from the buttocks region. Ry Mack stands straight up, evenly distributing his weight on both pedals and coasts down the hill. Scotty and I simultaneously lean hard to the left putting all of our weight on the bike-seat using our left hamstring. We tuck our bodies in the most aerodynamic position as possible, hoping to get the most distance as possible off of the hill. While Neville can literally lay on his bike, using it as his own personal hammock. Watching us all coast down hills at the end of the day is priceless. We refuse to sit down unless we absolutely have to!
The day went by with a couple flat tires, but with the tail wind and beautiful weather we had ZERO complaints. Ontario, minus the black flies, is an absolutely stunning province. We arrived in late last night and were treated to a field to camp on that Neville later named the “bug sanctuary”. Pretty brutal! Anyways, can’t type with Scotty and Ry snoring in my ear. Rusty out!