Author Topic: 1,000 km - Toronto to Coney Island by bike with a 10 yr old.  (Read 22929 times)

Prospector

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1,000 km - Toronto to Coney Island by bike with a 10 yr old.
« on: January 03, 2018, 09:05:54 PM »
Backstory:

I'm a pretty normal Dad with a couple kids. the kids are pretty cool though. One of them, my eldest son, is an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) kid. He bounces in and out of treatment centres and therapies and has a hard time at school. He's a great guy one on one, but in a crowd or around other people, James falls apart. He is not a model child by society's standards.

As our summer vacation was winding down last year, I asked James what he thought would be a fun thing to do with just the two of us, and he mentioned a park in Ottawa that he had seen a TV program about, and how it would be fun to go there to play. Since Ottawa is about 500 km from home, my mind turned to hotels and highways... but he wasn't done. He wanted to ride his bike there.

Now most 9 yr old kids wouldn't come to their dad with a proposal to ride their bike across the province to play on a swing set, but in James' mind this was perfectly reasonable. And my mind went straight to all the times he hears "you can't" - both at home and at school. So I didn't say that. In fact I was very careful with what I said next. What I said was... "If you can ride your bike from our house to the CN Tower in Toronto, then we'll figure out how to ride to Ottawa." Since its about 70 km to the CN tower from here, and James has a crappy Schwinn on 20" tires, I figured I was safe. No way the kid could get that far on that bike.

And so, three weeks later we rode our bikes to Ottawa.

A fellow mustachian suggested that we set up a GoFundMe account before heading off, and maybe we could think of a local charity that would benefit from the ride - and I shrugged it off. But then I mentioned the idea to a few other people and they all agreed, so one night before we left I set up an account, naming the treatment centre James attends as beneficiary of our ride. I wasn't sure how much to put in the goal amount. If we did this, I wanted the ride to be a success and I didn't want James to feel bad about missing a money goal I  had tagged on.

Since it was Canada's 150th birthday (I'd say sesquicentennial, but I can't spell it) I set the goal at $1500 and crossed my fingers that we'd make it. Then I called a DJ at our local radio station and asked him please to announce the thing on the air and get us rolling.

Within 3 days we had raised our goal amount. By the end of the week we had doubled it. We rode to Ottawa and picked up media attention in every town we came to. Once the ride was done, we had been on national news, a dozen local papers, had scout troops meeting us on the road, and felt like celebrities. Icing on the cake came when the prime minister of Canada tweeted his congratulations to James personally. Wow.

After the ride we came home and presented our treatment centre with a big fat cheque for $10,800. Not bad at all. The press came out and one reporter hounded me for an answer of what we were going to do next. I answered that I was happy our ride had been such a success, and we could return to school. He asked again... "What's next?" I talked about all the things that the treatment centre could do with these donations and how great it was that so many people had learned about ASD through our ride, and that we were completely pleased with all the support... and again he asked, "What's next?"

I never answered him, but through this thread, I'm going to share with you - and enlist your help so that "what's next" is answered, and hopefully, so that you'll be part of the 500 more kms we are riding this year.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 08:21:48 AM by Prospector »

Prospector

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 09:29:17 PM »
I can't say what's next, not just yet, but we have a line drawn on a (Google) map, and this ride will be as ridiculous as the last. It will be longer, more difficult and will involve crossing into the US. 

We have picked up an early endorsement from the Boy Scouts, both in Canada and the US. Our local politicians at the local and federal levels are aware and encouraging. Our charity is happy to have us on board again, and we have picked up a second charity in the US.

It looks an awful lot like we are set to go - except that we don't know when we'll do the ride, haven't set up SAG stops along the way (backyards to camp in), and have no idea what legalities there are about crossing a border for this. I imagine we will need a visa of some kind. I would guess that we will have to worry about moving money to our charity. There are a billion details to work out. But follow along, and maybe sometime between now and when we finish up you can help with an answer or a cheer, or just a few encouraging words.

oldladystache

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 09:49:45 PM »
following

Eucalyptus

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 10:08:11 PM »
Awesome!

Daisy

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 10:21:15 PM »
I thought this thread was going to be a reference to this song.
https://youtu.be/tbNlMtqrYS0

Well it wasn't, but maybe it could be your theme song for this ride.

Where in the US are you planning to ride to?

tardis

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 11:23:20 PM »
Following.

Prospector

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 07:09:25 AM »
I thought this thread was going to be a reference to this song.
https://youtu.be/tbNlMtqrYS0

Well it wasn't, but maybe it could be your theme song for this ride.

Where in the US are you planning to ride to?

This is what EVERYONE wants to know. Its also the piece I can't really put out in the open just yet. While I endorse speculation, I can't confirm any guesses. I will give one hint though so its a sport instead of a wager. We're going to ride a roller-coaster. Because who doesn't love a good roller-coaster ride?

At this point I need help from folks who know anything about US travel visas. I need those answers sooooo bad.

meghan88

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 10:03:17 AM »

At this point I need help from folks who know anything about US travel visas. I need those answers sooooo bad.

You will need a notarized consent letter from your wife if she's not accompanying you:  https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/children/consent-letter - note that the letter itself will not open if you're using Chrome.

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forever high

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2018, 11:51:34 AM »
This is so inspiring!

Prospector

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2018, 12:07:18 PM »
https://ca.usembassy.gov/visas/

Thanks for this link - it was among my first places to visit. I guess the question all boils down to this sentence:

Quote
Other entrants, such as journalists, temporary workers or NAFTA professionals, must present all necessary supporting documentation and/or approved petitions directly to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer at the Port of Entry.

Are we temporary workers if we are doing a charity bike ride? If so, do we need to get the "approved petitions"? What do those look like? I'm calling my Member of Parliament's office now to ask. Hopefully they can put me in touch with the people who know these things.

LifeHappens

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2018, 01:01:21 PM »
Following. I didn't catch on to your previous ride until it was over and I want to support this one from the start.

Dicey

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2018, 01:15:05 PM »
As a former long-distance rider, I totally support your efforts. And I will do anything to get that worm out of my head offer a mustachian hand. Gleefully P2F.

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2018, 01:24:46 PM »
This is so kick a$$ and I am happily P2F your journey and offer any support that I might. 

thecampguy

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2018, 01:34:42 PM »
Prospector, that/this is fantastic!

I wonder if local bike shops/MEC would be willing to throw some support your way either monetarily or with other means.

tardis

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2018, 01:43:01 PM »
Why not just call the embassy and explain the situation and ask for advice?

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2018, 01:46:36 PM »
Let's see if I can apply google-fu to your visa questions:
(edit: not intended as lmgtfy snark - I like to think I have above average google-fu and I have lots of cross-border googling experience, so hoping these help or lead you down helpful paths)

These people got in trouble trying to cross the border for volunteer work that was deemed too much like actual work - some details may be relevant to you: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/hamilton-church-volunteers-denied-entry-to-u-s-so-they-wouldn-t-steal-american-jobs-1.4022969

This seems to indicate that a B-1 could be iffy due to accepting/soliciting donations: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/getting-us-visa-b-1-do-volunteer-work.html
And here's more text I believe from the same part of the regulations: https://www.quora.com/Can-I-volunteer-in-the-United-States-on-a-B1-B2-visa

Since the purpose is charitable you may be able to get free info/services from someplace like this: http://visaservicescanada.ca/

You asked about taxes elsewhere - if you get the charities to setup the gofundme or otherwise accept donations directly, that could sidestep the income tax issues. And chances are you could cross at the border without explaining the secondary (fundraising) aspect of your ride but that's not without risk. Ultimately I think you will have to consult an expert and/or read the laws themselves, if you want to be sure of avoiding border/tax issues.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 01:48:20 PM by Novik »

Prospector

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2018, 01:50:24 PM »
Why not just call the embassy and explain the situation and ask for advice?

Maybe that's the route to take. For now I think I'll follow up with a couple other leads I've got - first with our MP and then with an immigration lawyer in Buffalo who specializes in Canadian cases. We'll see where this ends up.

Let's see if I can apply google-fu to your visa questions:

These people got in trouble trying to cross the border for volunteer work that was deemed too much like actual work - some details may be relevant to you: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/hamilton-church-volunteers-denied-entry-to-u-s-so-they-wouldn-t-steal-american-jobs-1.4022969

This seems to indicate that a B-1 could be iffy due to accepting/soliciting donations: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/getting-us-visa-b-1-do-volunteer-work.html
And here's more text I believe from the same part of the regulations: https://www.quora.com/Can-I-volunteer-in-the-United-States-on-a-B1-B2-visa

Since the purpose is charitable you may be able to get free info/services from someplace like this: http://visaservicescanada.ca/

You asked about taxes elsewhere - if you get the charities to setup the gofundme or otherwise accept donations directly, that could sidestep the income tax issues. And chances are you could cross at the border without explaining the secondary (fundraising) aspect of your ride but that's not without risk. Ultimately I think you will have to consult an expert and/or read the laws themselves, if you want to be sure of avoiding border/tax issues.

I almost crossed posts with you Novik - thanks for that google-ing. On our FB page a lawyer has been suggested. I'll start a friendly ask there, but ultimately I think this will take the advice of someone more professional than I am. I think Tardis has a point though - a letter from our local consulate saying we're legit would be the best. I'm hoping our MP's office can hope with that. We'll see.

Novik

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2018, 01:59:32 PM »
I think Tardis has a point though - a letter from our local consulate saying we're legit would be the best. I'm hoping our MP's office can hope with that. We'll see.

Family bike ride + good cause + official paper to wave at the border guards = hopefully success!

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2018, 02:08:56 PM »
Can I ask what route you took up to Ottawa?  I'm planning on taking four or five days and riding up this summer with my wife.  I'm trying to find the safest way to go traffic-wise (most of highway 7 looks kinda miserable to cycle on for example . . . no shoulders, single lane, high speed limits) that doesn't put me on really rough farm roads, long unpaved stretches, and too far away from civilization so we can risk going very lightweight.

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2018, 02:31:39 PM »
That is so cool - and as a Mum who has a son with learning issues (not AS) I think you are an awesome dad! How amazing that James gets to celebrate success and be applauded for what he is good at!

Ps - I clicked on the link for the title :) like others now I canít get the worm out of my head.

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2018, 02:45:10 PM »
Wait, how long did it take you two to ride 500KM?  It takes me 2 days to do half that, and now that I've done the KM to miles conversion I am in complete awe of both you and James.  Wow!

Prospector

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2018, 02:47:09 PM »
Can I ask what route you took up to Ottawa?  I'm planning on taking four or five days and riding up this summer with my wife.  I'm trying to find the safest way to go traffic-wise (most of highway 7 looks kinda miserable to cycle on for example . . . no shoulders, single lane, high speed limits) that doesn't put me on really rough farm roads, long unpaved stretches, and too far away from civilization so we can risk going very lightweight.

We left Durham Region on the Waterfront Trail and followed it to Hay Bay. Then we skipped north through Lennox & Addington County to the start of the Cataraqui Trail in Strathcona (just outside Napanee). Although the Cat. Trail was my favourite part of the ride, it is not good for a road bike, being mostly packed gravel with some mud and water - but the scenery is fantastic - especially for a rail trail. The last 30 kms of it are on sod (as though someone drove a riding mower through fields and called it a trail). We ended the Cat Trail in Smith's falls and followed the Rideau canal from there to our destination using a route published on the canal website.

Fire me an email or send your email addy in a PM and I can send you our Google earth file. Only thing I would change is to avoid the loyalist Hwy through Prince Edward County. In fact, skip PEC altogether. Apart from Bloomfield bikes, I have nothing redeeming to say about that part of the trip. I'd suggest just following HWY 2 past Trenton and Belleville instead and skip the county altogether.

Although we took 5 days for the trip, we met many others since who have done it in three or 4.

FYI, James and I will be presenting on our ride at the bikeminds workshop on March 21 in Toronto if you want to come out and have a coffee/chat. ( https://beyondtheautomobile.ca/bikeminds/ )

Also: http://ctv.news/ajXUy2H
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 06:56:30 PM by Prospector »

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2018, 02:50:15 PM »
The charity on each end collecting donations directly (and issuing tax receipts to donors in their country) sounds like the easiest thing.  Should be easy enough to set up a separate donation page on their websites.  This avoids any money touching your hands.

I hope you don't have to work too hard to get an answer on the visa.  Ten years ago I flew to L.A. to run in a 10km race that raised money for charity.  I paid an entry fee with a donation embedded.  I earned no money for my athletic efforts (the trip cost me money).  Regular schlubs like me do not earn money for such activities so I wasn't stealing a job.  I entered as a tourist (no visa) and it was fine.  I'm hoping the answer is that uncomplicated in your case, as well.

Prospector

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2018, 02:54:26 PM »
Wait, how long did it take you two to ride 500KM?  It takes me 2 days to do half that, and now that I've done the KM to miles conversion I am in complete awe of both you and James.  Wow!

We went really, really slow. Left home Sat. AM and arrived on Friday AM. We could have made it Thursday evening, but we had to schedule our arrival to coincide with tv crew schedules.

Prospector

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2018, 03:25:56 PM »
The charity on each end collecting donations directly (and issuing tax receipts to donors in their country) sounds like the easiest thing.  Should be easy enough to set up a separate donation page on their websites.  This avoids any money touching your hands.

I hope you don't have to work too hard to get an answer on the visa.  Ten years ago I flew to L.A. to run in a 10km race that raised money for charity.  I paid an entry fee with a donation embedded.  I earned no money for my athletic efforts (the trip cost me money).  Regular schlubs like me do not earn money for such activities so I wasn't stealing a job.  I entered as a tourist (no visa) and it was fine.  I'm hoping the answer is that uncomplicated in your case, as well.

This is where GoFundMe works so well. Anyone, anywhere can donate to them, and they simply pass along the proceeds after taking a 5% cut. Larger donors can get tax receipts by giving directly to the childrens' centres but there it becomes a bit of a wickey sticket for cross border donations. I think the easiest for us is to open 3 accounts - one at with Grandview for direct doantions, one with the US charity for direct donations, and one with GFM for folks who don't care about tax receipts. Sadly, marketing a 3-stream giving approach is ugly. In a news interview you just don't have time to name 3 accounts.

Dee

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2018, 08:12:22 PM »
Wow!!! That is really inspiring, Prospector. Such a great way to let your son shine!

Dollar Slice

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2018, 09:08:35 PM »
I think the easiest for us is to open 3 accounts - one at with Grandview for direct doantions, one with the US charity for direct donations, and one with GFM for folks who don't care about tax receipts. Sadly, marketing a 3-stream giving approach is ugly. In a news interview you just don't have time to name 3 accounts.

Can you make three accounts and then prominently link the other two within the Gofundme text? And then the elevator pitch is just "See our GoFundMe site for complete information on how to donate."

Prospector

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2018, 10:41:52 AM »
After watching used ads on kijiji for a couple months we've had terrible luck coming up with a James-sized bike that would work well for this trip. Very few bikes his size have made an appearance, and worse, the ones that do tend to be BMX or beater bikes that really aren't suited to the task.

I found one that looked perfect, called the guy up and was told it was already spoken for. I told him that if his sale fell apart, we were interested. I followed up a week later and got no response. Figured the sale was done and we were out of luck.

Yesterday we stopped in at a local bike shop and tried a few frames for size. There were only 2 bikes in the shop that would fit James. One was $1500 (Specialized Allez Junior) and the other $950 (Specialized Women's Dolce XS) plus a number of modifications needed to convert it to a touring bike bringing the price up over $1500...

Our local beneficiary has kindly offered to get a bike for James through their therapy aids program, but I can't put that kind of a bill on them, so I asked them to hold off while we kept hunting. I'm not eating up resources of our charity while we try to raise cash for them.

Then last night, the guy with the bike on Kijiji called me back. His sale fell apart and the bike he has is available for $250. It needs a new front derailleur and the brakes and tires will need replacing, but we should be able to have this thing set up and on the road for under $500. The charity will do the mods, and we will buy the bike. I can live with this much better than buying a new bike. Especially since whatever we get will only fit for a couple years as James hits his pre-teen growth spurts.

So I'm headed out in 30 minutes to pick up James' new bike... will post results soon-ish.

Dicey

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2018, 12:29:04 PM »
Oh, so exciting! Standing by for an update...

tardis

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2018, 12:30:29 PM »
Awesome!

katscratch

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2018, 01:02:00 PM »
This is so cool!!  What a kid :) And what an accomplishment!

If you happen to ride through Minneapolis I can guarantee my bike shop would accommodate you, housing/camping would be no problem, and my bike club would almost certainly do a group ride with you guys.

Cuz, you know, "the US" is so small and your chances of riding here are so high ;)

I'm definitely looking forward to following your journey no matter where it takes you!
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 05:35:30 PM by katscratch »

Mikila

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2018, 01:08:49 PM »
Congratulations.  Way to teach a can-do attitude to your son and encourage others.  O how much is achievable when we try and don't let our feelings of what is "normal" to do hold us back.

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2018, 01:12:49 PM »
Well - we have a bike. I'm not sure that its 100% perfect, but its pretty good. Tire clearances may preclude putting on gravel tires (its really tight) but maybe of we go down to 24" rims (it has 26") it will clear up space and we can put on something beefy. And the seatstays have braze-ons for a rack, but the dropouts don't. Weird.

I'll reach out to Louis Garneau (who made the bike) share our story, and see if they have any advice. Worst case is they wish us luck on our ride, best case is they have ideas/gear to make it work. Daydream is that they send us a bike rack and panniers.

For now the bike is stashed in a friend's garage until James' birthday in April. One thing sortof off the list.

Congratulations.  Way to teach a can-do attitude to your son and encourage others.  O how much is achievable when we try and don't let our feelings of what is "normal" to do hold us back.

Love this - thanks for the encouragement!!

Prospector

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2018, 01:14:15 PM »
This is so cool!!  What a kid :) And what an accomplishment!

If you happen to ride through Minneapolis I can guarantee my bike shop would accommodate you, housing/camping would be no problem, and my bike club (look up Joyful Riders Club on the internet - I'll prob delete the name later) would almost certainly do a group ride with you guys.

Cuz, you know, "the US" is so small and your chances of riding here are so high ;)

I'm definitely looking forward to following your journey no matter where it takes you!

I mean its not like USA is massive huge, but it is pretty big. If there are roller coasters in Minneapolis, we might be going there. Then again, there might be other roller coasters in America as well.

katscratch

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #35 on: January 06, 2018, 05:34:41 PM »
Valley Fair in a suburb https://www.valleyfair.com/play and inside Mall of America https://nickelodeonuniverse.com/rides/ :)

katscratch

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2018, 05:44:43 PM »
Awww I just watched the news stories. Your telling here is of course better, but this really is so inspiring!

Prospector

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2018, 09:43:29 AM »
Awww I just watched the news stories. Your telling here is of course better, but this really is so inspiring!

Thanks Kat! We'll probably be tweeting out the ride again this time around. I suggest you follow along on Twitter. #RideJamesRide - of course we won't have much to tweet for a couple months, but as things progress we update there.

This morning I reached out to Louis Garneau for more info on the bike we picked up and what recommendations they have for outfitting. I also made an ask for support with bags/gear/etc. I wonder if they will come through. I suspect they will be checking the twitter etc. before replying, so having followers helps. It would be nice to get our twitter up over 400 followers - our peak 'followership' during the ride was 450. Not bad for an account set up three weeks earlier!

Today it is miserable cold out there. Everyone stay in and dream of warmth.

ThatGuy

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2018, 10:10:57 AM »
Wait, how long did it take you two to ride 500KM?  It takes me 2 days to do half that, and now that I've done the KM to miles conversion I am in complete awe of both you and James.  Wow!

We went really, really slow. Left home Sat. AM and arrived on Friday AM. We could have made it Thursday evening, but we had to schedule our arrival to coincide with tv crew schedules.

Damn paparazzi! :)

You mentioned changing from 26" wheels to 24" wheels, this probably won't work unless the bike has coaster brakes because the brake calipers won't reach the wheels.  Unless someone sells long brake calipers for such a conversion.

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2018, 10:18:36 AM »
My dormant twitter account is now following you. Go James!

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2018, 10:23:33 AM »
I find that Gears bike stores have pretty engaged teams, and they list Louis Garneau bikes, so they should be able to help modify.

When I was a teen doing tris, finding a bike mechanic who cared about modding a bike to my specs was essential.

PS. I was all ready to let you know that you name dropped, and after reaching the end, I decided it's intentional.

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2018, 10:25:45 AM »
Wait, how long did it take you two to ride 500KM?  It takes me 2 days to do half that, and now that I've done the KM to miles conversion I am in complete awe of both you and James.  Wow!

We went really, really slow. Left home Sat. AM and arrived on Friday AM. We could have made it Thursday evening, but we had to schedule our arrival to coincide with tv crew schedules.

Damn paparazzi! :)

You mentioned changing from 26" wheels to 24" wheels, this probably won't work unless the bike has coaster brakes because the brake calipers won't reach the wheels.  Unless someone sells long brake calipers for such a conversion.

Good call on the brakes. hadn't considered that - and definately not swapping to disk brakes.

I'll pop into a bike coop with the bike in a week or so and see what they suggest if Garneau doesn't come through for me.

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #42 on: January 07, 2018, 10:27:17 AM »
I find that Gears bike stores have pretty engaged teams, and they list Louis Garneau bikes, so they should be able to help modify.

When I was a teen doing tris, finding a bike mechanic who cared about modding a bike to my specs was essential.

PS. I was all ready to let you know that you name dropped, and after reaching the end, I decided it's intentional.

Yeah - it was a tough decision but we feel like making this ride personal is important. People need to feel a connection or we won't be reaching our goals.

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #43 on: January 07, 2018, 10:59:31 AM »
So inspiring! You and James make a great team. I am here to help in any small way I can.

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2018, 08:21:48 AM »
This is fantastic.

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #45 on: January 09, 2018, 08:36:55 AM »
Just sent emails to Gov. Cuomo and MP Celina hoping to get answers on the visa question. We'll see where that leads (pessimistic over here... think I'll be reaching out to the embassy/consulate but I'm trying not to since they are not very welcoming).

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2018, 09:03:14 AM »
Are you doing any cross-border trips before the ride? could you just ask a border guard?

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2018, 01:59:11 PM »
Are you doing any cross-border trips before the ride? could you just ask a border guard?

No, we aren't. I thought about stopping in and asking when we went to Niagara over the New year's break, but didn't. The kids were restless.

James' Twitter feed is full of other young achievers doing similar trips. I love reading about the ones hiking cross-Canada on The Great Trail. This girl recently completed the trip: https://thegreattrail.ca/news/sarah-jackson-completes-the-trail/ and this one has only just began: https://twitter.com/BetweenSunsets?lang=en Incredible perseverance for these people. I don't think I could do a hike like that. Bikes and canoes are so much easier.

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2018, 12:15:39 AM »
Sounds really awesome and wishing you guys all the best. This is the kind of thing I look forward to doing with my boys soon.

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Re: I would ride 500 km and I would ride 500 more...
« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2018, 01:53:12 AM »
I thought I'd mention this just in case it wasn't on your radar - apologies if I'm repeating info you already have:

There's a European bike brand called Canyon which has been hugely successful selling directly to customers. They expanded into the US about a year ago, and already have a pretty high profile among hardcore racers, but something like your ride might be a good fit for them marketing-wise to get their name in front of a wider north American audience. It might be worth dropping them a line and seeing if they'd be amenable to potentially helping you out with equipment.