Ryan here.  Yesterday was an amazing day in the nations capital.  The sun was shining down as we got to have a once in a lifetime experience in Ottawa.  We took off from Sean Ryan-Aylwards apartment early hoping to make an ambitious cycle to Montreal which was over 200 km’s away.  This was short lived.  Our day was hampered by flat tires and by Ross and Sean being “tired from Canada day”.  Throughout our ride, we struggled as we finally began to see evident struggles in our ability to speak French. We were riding into the true Quebec.  The directions read Ouest, Nord, Est, Sud which completely messed us up.  Due to our inability to even comprehend or even try to speak the language our only phrase we have nailed down is, “Parler vous englais”.

The ride was absolutely stunning though, comparable to some of our most scenic throughout the trip.  We paralleled the St.Lawrence River for most of the way and rode along a quiet secondary highway.  The river that feeds the Atlantic Ocean (we must be close).  The most interesting part about each little town you cross through in Quebec is the huge religious presence.  Each town has a massive towering church that dominates the town.  By far the worst part is that every time we pull up to a church Ross absolutely butchers the dialogue often found in scripted on the side of the church. He takes his voice into a high pitched, raspy and brutal attempt to be French-Canadian.

On the last 30 km of our ride for the day suddenly turned for the worst.  A back tire on the bike that Scott and I are rotating duties on keeps on going flat.  Over the next two hours, we popped about three tubes and due to heat our patches weren’t working properly.  This eventually led to me using a half empty tube and pumping it up every 10-15 minutes because we were out of tubes.  However it also got me thinking.  I realized that we all have certain responsibilities on a tire change.  Just after we realize we have a flat this is what happens:

Scott:

-Scrambles in his head of something positive to say but just says “NOOOO”

-Drops his bike and immediately asks to hold something.(Bike, tube, pump)

Sean:

-Does everything

-Immediately assesses the situation, examines the tire, flips the bike, quickly gets the tools and makes it happen.

-Different stressors set him off(Flies, mosquitoes, heat, rain or Ross)

-Somehow always needs his shirt off for a flat tire

Ross:

-Always says “This is my nightmare”

-Gets the pump off his bike and waits for someone to ask him for it.

-Stands behind the action and looks at his I-phone.  His stance is awful, he stands with feet spread wide, back slouched and both hands constantly swiping at his phone.  He must have some crush on a girl because in any situation he has it out and about.

We eventually made it into Lachute, QC around 8 PM and waited for it to get dark as we cruised around the city looking for a camping site.  With the flat and ourselves in dire need for a patch kit and tubes we needed to stay close to town.  This led us to finding a gravel pit behind some sort of industrial yard in the city.  Covered by trees we found a pretty awesome spot to set up camp for the night.

It is hilarious how lucky we have been throughout the trip.  Whenever we get something even close to get us stressed or feel down something good happens.  We have so many great friends who have supported us throughout our journey.  That night when we stopped for some food, covered in grease, sweat and frustration we sat and checked out e-mails.  After looking at our team page we saw over 600 dollars of donations come in from friends, family and people we just met along the way.  We are now just over 29,000 dollars raised and are still pushing for our goal.  11,000 dollars to go!  We still have faith that we can do it.  Thanks again everyone for supporting us. Love you BYE!  Ryan

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     Mackinnon Brothers

    With this blog The Mackinnon Boys hope to keep sponsors, friends, family and anyone interested updated on our travels, experiences and thoughts. All four boys will be making entries as well as our father Mr. Hugh Mackinnon who will be accompanying us for parts of the trip in his 1967 VW van.

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