Hawkesbury to Montreal
Distance: 120 KM biked
Time Spent Biking: 7 hours
Total KM Biked: 756 KM in 6 days
Last day of riding before my first rest day! You can probably tell how grumpy I am in the video that the weather wasn't great in the morning - all I want is a nice shower, a hot plate of carbs, and a massage. A big thank you to Cam Lalonde from Hawkesbury for taking me in, appreciate your support for the ride and your kindness to a complete stranger!
I'm also on a tight timeline - I was invited to speak at Music for Mosul, an event to raise awareness of the current crisis in Mosul, Iraq where ISIS and Iraqi forces are engaged in brutal combat. Please take some time to read about the situation here.
Finally the rain stopped, and I managed to get going on the country roads that lead to Montreal. 120 KM after a week of non-stop biking is brutal, but the thought of getting to rest a little tomorrow helped me keep going.
Common Question: You mentioned that you often eat at gas stations during the ride - what do you eat there?
With the ride, it's a matter of eat-what-you-can-get. There's huge chunks of the route where I don't see any towns or any places to stop to eat, so gas stations are often the only choice. As for healthy options, there's really two different camps on eating when doing endurance trips.
The first is that food is something that should be enjoyed, with taste being a factor in choosing what you eat. The second is that food should be thrown into your mouth as fast and as often as possible in order to stop your body from breaking down.
You can probably guess which camp I'm a part of from the video below.
The ride was going great, but about 90 KM in the rain decided to make a comeback - I got caught in a really ugly place.
Thankfully though, a local Montreal resident named Fournier saw me - when he heard about what I was doing, he invited me into his home and we talked about the project, his life, and a bit about how I was going to manage to get to downtown Montreal in this weather (it really didn't seem likely at the time). After 30 minutes, the rain did let up a little, so I thanked Fournier for the invitation and continued on my way!
Quick side note, it really is amazing how many people are helping me during this ride. People are opening up their homes, offering food and donations, and it's really encouraging to see.
Eventually I arrived in Montreal, quickly took a shower and changed, and then sprinted across downtown to get to the Music for Mosul event.
The event was awesome - we got to hear authentic Iraqi music, and proceeds from the show went directly to the UNHCR. I also had the pleasure of presenting Canadians for Syria and fielding questions about Ride for Refugees - everyone was incredibly supportive (some people thought I was also crazy, but in a good way?). Thank you very much Juanita and her team for organizing the event and for the invitation!
And just like that, the first leg of Ride for Refugees is done! Over 750 KM done in 6 days, and I'm really feeling the physical and mental exhaustion. Hope that my rest day tomorrow gives me a chance to catch up on emails and everything else - after I reach the Atlantic Ocean, I'm promising myself that I'll sleep for a day.
Also, if you haven't already, please consider donating! Even if it's only a small contribution of $10 or $25, we need your support to be able to sponsor the Beshmaf family. Check out our Facebook post that gives some background on the family and their story. If it resonates with you and you'd like to become a sponsor, please donate here! Thank you :)