Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Days 25 & 26 of the EPIC Ride – Shabaqua Corners – Thunder Bay; Thunder Bay – Nipigon, ON

Day 25
Monday, July 22, 2013
Shabaqua Corners - Thunder Bay, ON
Distance: 70 km
Mixed sun & clouds

Day 26
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Thunder Bay - Nipigon, ON
Distance: 108 km
Sunny, partly cloudy

On Monday morning, I woke up at 6 to the sound of light rain. Remembering that I’d left my shoes outside, I quickly opened the tent, pulled my shoes in, and then went back to sleep. I woke up less than an hour later to a thunderstorm.

Basically we all just slept until 9:30 because it took pretty much that long for the rain to finally stop. After breakfast we packed everything up and started riding the 70 km to our host’s house in Thunder Bay. Due to some rescheduling of our route, we decided to skip a rest day in Thunder Bay, and instead just rest as much as possible during Monday-since the riding distance was pretty short.

We stopped at Kakabeka Falls on the way to Thunder Bay…

The rest of the day was pretty relaxed. Evan rode the 70 km to see how his knees were feeling. We stayed the night at Frank Pollari’s house, where we had dinner, and met a couple of friends Frank had over in the evening. Frank has done lots of cycling in places around the world and he told us some stories. He also gave us directions and tips on some cool places to see in the Thunder Bay area and places as we head east.

Tuesday was supposed to be 145 km to a tiny nothing-place called Gurney. The guys started out from Thunder Bay much earlier than I did (I slept a bit longer and had a few errands to do as well).

On the way out of Thunder Bay, we stopped at the Terry Fox monument.

Partway through the day's ride, Evan had to stop riding, because his knees were hurting him too much.
Throughout the day's riding the guys ended up catching up with, and passing, some of the Tour Du Canada cyclists.

Dave ended up getting to the second rest break a while before Luke did and didn't stop long, wanting to get on to Nipigon, about 15 km ahead. A little while later, Luke reached us, going pretty fast. He grabbed a quick snack and water, telling us that he'd seen a helicopter and ambulance go by, and a lady driving the other way had told him two cyclist and two vehicles were in an accident up ahead. We were immediately concerned and thought Dave might have been involved.

Evan and I started driving ahead, but only got a few kilometres farther before having to stop in a long line of traffic. Evan texted Dave and found out that he was okay, but that a couple vehicles and two cyclists had been involved in an accident about 3 km ahead, and that the cyclists were both killed. The two were both from the Tour Du Canada group, and were a couple in their 70s.

Luke and Evan both rode on ahead to meet up with Dave near the accident, and after a while, they all came back at about 5:30. After hearing reports that traffic wouldn't clear up for the next 3 to 10 hours, we decided to drive back to Thunder Bay and stay another night at Frank's, then drive back out in the morning to where we started. The actual riding distance covered was only 108 km.

On the way back, we stopped at Ouimet Canyon...

Thanks to our great support team at home for all the encouragment and prayers for safety on the road. Thanks to God for keeping us safe so far, and for being with us for the rest of this trip.
Between Tuesday and Wednesday's riding this week, we're pretty sure we hit the halfway point for riding distance (not including any ferries), and we're past the halfway point for the days we've been away.

- Ben

Link to news article on the accident:

No comments:

Post a Comment