9:00 am – Barrie – 0 km
Dad and I pose for a pre-ride picture looking fresh and enthusiastic. Well, we were enthusiastic, at least. Neither of us slept well the previous night. I got a restless 4 hours of sleep and was dreading some of the killer hills that would lay ahead. At 9:20 am, all 118 riders departed the shores of Kempenfelt Bay for the long trek to Toronto.
10:30 am – Hwy 89 – 25 km
Refreshments and snacks greeted the invigorated riders on a small table set up at the side of the road. It was a glorious day to be riding. The sun was shining, the first quarter of the ride was behind us and we were feeling strong.
11:00 am – A Baptist Church – 37 km
A small Baptist Church situated just north of the Holland Marsh portion of the ride offers it’s washroom facilities to the B2B riders. Imagine, if you will, a typical Sunday Baptist service in rural Ontario. Then imagine a regular stream of aging Jewish men (and women) clad in tights and colourful tops entering the Church to avail themselves of the washroom facilities. I know, it was bizarre.
11:40 am – Hwy 9 – 52 km
The parking lot of the Kettle Creek Golf Club was the next organized rest stop. Again, all manner of snacks – dried fruit, nuts, M&Ms, PC Decadent cookies, bananas and oranges – and refreshments were supplied. We had made it half way. But the Jane Street hill lie ahead.
1:40 pm – Maple Downs – 78 km
Lunch at Maple Downs is the carrot that lead us through the 3rd stage of the ride. A quick sandwich and some fruit fortified us for the final descent into the city. We were in the last stretch.
Riding down Dufferin, south of Major Mac, it gets ugly. The city rises in the distance. The traffic builds and seems to bear down on bike riders. You even get the odd catcall from a passing 905er in his SUV. From green, rolling hills and farmland, we are thrust into the belly of the beast.
3:00 pm – Baycrest – 100 km
Over the 407 and down to Steeles, we wind our way to Bathurst and Wilson and, eventually, into the Baycrest parking lot. There, we are greeted by a couple of dozen elderly residents of this amazing facility, who wave and applaud our efforts on their behalf. As corny as it is to say, it makes it all feel worthwhile to see the smiles on their faces.
The climax of the night is the announcement of total funds raised for the day: over $600,000, for continued research into prevention and cures for Alzheimers and related memory loss and dementia.
Thank you to everyone who generously supported my participation in this event.