Isaac and Jacob are updating us from the town of Perth, Ontario – about 80km Southwest of Ottawa! The last two days of biking were long – about 140km and 160km of riding on each day respectively.
Since their last update in Winnipeg, Isaac and Jacob actually split up for a while. Isaac took some time to rest in Winnipeg while Jacob continued on the journey. Isaac then took the bus to meet back up with Jacob in Thunder Bay.
They noticed that as soon as they crossed from Manitoba to Ontario, how dense the forest became. The weather was great: more humid than they were used to – being from the prairies – but they hardly experienced any rain. The roads were also very nice and there were small lakes everywhere to make the area consist of more water than land!
It took them seven days to get from Thunder Bay to Sault St. Marie. They travelled along the North shore of Lake Superior. They made some stops at the Terry Fox Monument, Nipigon, Schreiber, Marathon, White River, and Wawa. The scenery and views of the lake were incredible! Although, the area was full of hills which made cycling a challenge along the narrow shoulders of the road.
They stayed in a combination of camps and hotels to get away from the heat and humidity. They also met some other bike tourers while biking and camping! Two people from Quebec and one military personnel kept them company on their journey for a while! Then, they took a ferry from Manitoulin island to Tobermory through Lake Huron.
There was a large population increase from Northern Ontario as they biked through the suburbs to get to Toronto. They stayed with friends in Toronto for a few days and took a guided tour via transit to Niagara Falls and Niagara on the Lake for some wine and chocolate tasting.
Isaac and Jacob were lucky enough to be able to meet with Moira from Kayla’s Children Centre (KCC) in Vaughan who gave them a tour of their state-of-the-art facility. KCC aims to empower children with special needs to develop life enhancing skills, self-esteem, and confidence – providing everything they require under one roof, year round.
There, they saw the rock climbing wall, stages for performances, light room for therapeutic activities, and what Isaac described as a “Sensory Gym” which consisted of a ball pit, cool rocking chairs, tubes that kids could crawl through – kind of like a kids version of American Ninja Warrior!
KCC also had Canada’s largest model train donated to them! Isaac and Jacob were able to see it on display on one of the stages. Isaac recalled it to be the size of a normal bedroom! The kids at KCC really love it.
The general age for kids attending the KCC is usually up to 12 years old. Speech pathologists, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists work there along with other staff. Their goal is to try to give the kids the minimal amount of support they need in order to accomplish their goals. Their progression system starts with highly adaptive equipment and slowly moves to less adaptations. Their system works really well as the children regularly show a lot of progression towards their goals!
While KCC does partner with the local school system, offering an afterschool program, some kids also attend the facility on a more full time basis. KCC also does many events to work with the surrounding community in Vaughan.
Leaving Toronto to go to Perth was a little stressful. As soon as they got off of Highway 401 just outside the city, bike paths opened up and the road quality close to neighboring farm houses was great again.
Isaac and Jacob will head into Ottawa next and hope to vote on the road! Their bikes are holding up well so far – only a couple breaks to chains and a flat tire so far ranging from Abbostford to Winnipeg.
They are thinking that they have about one month to go to get to St. John’s, Newfoundland. They want to head South through New Brunswick but their route will depend on timing and weather as they are trying to stay ahead of the Fall/stormy season. If they need to save time, they will probably stay on a more Northern path.
We can’t wait to hear from them after their next leg! Keep it up riders!