June 21st, 2007
Kelly, Zack, Slater, Screech, Jessie and Lisa. The whole gang was there as I bladed past Bayside High! Ok, well maybe not. But I couldn’t help but remember the days of Saved by The Bell when I saw Bayside High school just outside of Belleville.
My day started off well in Napanee with a live interview on Joe FM. If you were listening while I was on the air, you may have heard some giggling girls in the background. Joan and Jose’s granddaughters came bouncing down the stairs while I was talking to Buzz on the radio. But the interview went well. Shortly after that, I was met by 2 reporters from the Napanee Guide and the Napanee Beaver newspapers. They walked me through some standard questions and snapped a few pictures before I started on my way.
It didn’t take me long to realize that today would not be an easy skate. Although the sun was shining and the temperature was comfortable, the wind was strong and in my face. Because of my slow speed, I had plenty of time to think, ponder and analyze the meaning of life. But All I could come up with was the fact that it was damn windy. In fact, I’d rate today as one of the top 5 windiest days since starting on May 5th. There was no sense in dwelling on my slow progress. All I could do was keep my legs moving and cover as much ground as I could. I knew there would be days like this, so I just had to stay positive.
Just East of Belleville, we were met by an officer who helped guide us through the city. The flashing lights really help to drawn attention to me. As we saT at a red light waiting to proceed, a woman came tearing out of a nearby office building. “I saw you on TV!” she exclaimed excitedly. She planted a big hug on me and handed me a donation. A few other people stopped to donate, too. Some cars pulled over and one woman even tried the patented ‘out-the-window hand-off’ move without hardly slowing down! And once we made it through Belleville, the officer who escorted us offered a donation of his own. I’d only covered about 40 kilometers at this point, but it seemed like a good place to break for lunch.
While I was being escorted through Trenton and Brighton, I had the opportunity to finally look around and enjoy the surroundings. I’m usually watching the road and traffic. But the escorts gave me time to absorb what was around me. And then it dawned on me. I grew up in Kingston and I’ve driven by these places a million times. But I really haven’t been through the downtown areas of these cities. It’s weird how you take for granted the things that are close to you. It’ll be very interesting to take highway 2 all the way to Toronto. I always take the 401.
Just before reaching the West side of Trenton, I bladed past a man walking his dog. I could help but notice the dog was a Doberman. My favorite. They rank right up there with rattle snakes and black widows! The dog glared at me as if to say “Why are you in my city, Boy?” I tried to quietly skate past and be on my way, but the Doberman must not have like my stride. I heard a growl as I glanced over my shoulder to see the owner wrestling the dog to the ground. That animal wanted a taste of me, and the owner was doing everything in his power to hold the dog back. He was now lying on top of the dog, but the dig was squirming loose. I don’t think I’ve eve been more motivate to move my legs any faster. I didn’t look back a second time. I poured on the juice and got as far away as possible.
After a quick dinner just outside Brighton, I decided I had to strap on the blades for some additional evening skating. The wind had set me back a bit, so I needed to make up some time. The road didn’t improve and the wind didn’t let up. So when I finally reached Lyle Rd, 10 km East of Cobourg, I’d had enough. I managed to finish 95 km today, though. And the highlight was right near the end when a little girl came rolling down her driveway on a Big-Wheel and asked where I was going. “Vancouver,” I answered.
“You’re like Terry Fox!” She squealed with excitement. She gave another loud cheer as I continued skating. I don’t think I can be compared to someone like Terry Fox. But hopefully I’ll be able to help raise some money for research.