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Friday, July 5, 2013

Goodbye BC! It was nice knowing you.

Hey everyone!
Sorry about not blogging. It was a combination of reasons and laziness only came into play a little bit!

Haha

I see you're not laughing. It's ok. I joke around so often, I'm surprised most people aren't tired of me. So why don't I just go at it and write something relevant.

So the EPIC Riders are what I am a part of. We're biking, not the motorized kind, across Canada. We'll be going from Vancouver, BC to St. John's, NL. We're already partway through. We did plan on stopping in Victoria but costs came into play and told us no. So yeah, we have biked all the way through British Columbia. I'll do a recap of each day, briefly.

Day #1- Vancouver to Hope:
     We started at the Olympic Oval in Richmond, just south of Vancouver, after having a lovely three-night stay at the Dyllas' house in Richmond. What a fantastic time that was! The ride was much more flat than we expected. We did about 160km and stayed at the Bonikowskis' house in Hope. We saw a lot of where Rambo was filmed, and had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. MMMMM :) Thank you so much to the Dyllas and the Bonikowskis for being such friendly and accomodating hosts!

Day #2- Hope to Merritt:
     This was the dreaded and feared Coquihalla climb. This was also the worst day of the trip so far. We climbed up to a 1244m elevation, from about 35m above sea level. That was the steepest climb I've seen. After that the riders had 8 flats between the three of us, and after Dave's last flat he had to be picked up by Ben about 20km from Merritt. We then changed all of our tires. I think we camped that night and had Subway. Slightly filling! Thank you to God that we survived that day. I'm not sure what the distance was that day.

Day #3-Merritt to Chase:
     This was the first day I started experiencing knee problems right off the bat. We climbed to a 1444m elevation, but it wasn't as bad as the day before. After our climb we were exhausted, and there was a killer headwind through Kamloops and some other place. We actually ended up setting up a last-minute contact with Evan's second cousins for that night. We stayed on a mountain ranch for that night and through Canada Day, our first rest day. Evan and I had heat exhaustion and we were throwing up and napping through much of the day. Thank you to the Jontz family for being incredibly friendly, especially Levi! Amazing food and well, with 8 kids in the family, there was more than enough great company! I only remember that we completed around 150km.

Day #4- Chase to Revelstoke:
     Evan had to sit this one out because of his continued heat exhaustion. This was probably the day I most trusted God with my well-being because I had no food in me, which means no energy, and my knees were becoming a big problem. Dave has gracefully led most of the rides so far so I didn't have to do as much work, but it was tough trying to keep up! Thank you God for keeping my body in a great condition. I think we did about 170km

Day #5- Revelstoke to Glacier National Park:
     This was basically another rest day. The climbing was hard, but we ended up only doing 75km. Evan rejoined Dave and I! My knee pains seemed to be moving around to different tendons in the knees. In the afternoon we were bored so the riders went hiking while Ben read a book. After half an hour Dave and Evan wanted to turn around, so they did, and I ended up climbing to the top of a mountain ridge adjacent to our campground. I took some pretty awesome pictures that are on Facebook, but I couldn't enjoy the view much because I knew the guys would be wondering if I was still alive. It was a humbling experience though! Oh and I did it in sandals and a bathing suit with 100mL of water. Fun times! Thank you God for letting me trip in the right places and not the wrong ones.

Day #6- Glacier National Park to Golden:
     This was about 95km. I confirmed that my knees aren't injured, eternal thanks to God, and that the pain has moved around to probably every single tendon in both knees. It appears they're under just a little too much strain, or possibly just not accustomed to the amount of biking. This day was really easy. We were warned about Rogers's Pass being tougher than the Coquihalla, but when we got through it all three of us were surprised at how short it was. Maybe we just got stronger or something. The rest of the ride was basically downhill and we averaged 30km/h the whole day. We camped that night.

Day #7- Golden to Banff, AB:
     The easiest day so far! I think we biked about 150km today. There were some tough climbs at the beginning, which Ben chocked up as "some hills". After about 72km almost the entire way was downhill. We averaged over 40km/h for the second half and 28.6km/h for the whole day. Now we're staying in a sweet hotel and we're about to go for a barbecue at the owners' house. So awesome! We are so blessed on this team. We've made it all the way through BC but there was no sign at the border of Alberta.


And an even more brief account of the past couple days would be: pain, pain, and more pain.
Tonight's a great relaxation time though. We just got back from dinner, which was fantastic! Our hosts were very welcoming and friendly as well! Thanks to the Batemans! Tomorrow we head to Calgary, and we're going to rest there for a day with Jesse Corriveau. That will be a blast.

Well that's pretty much all. Please donate, it's a very worthy cause! I think I've mentioned Ratanak International on the blog before. They are helping to rebuild Cambodia's spiritual, social, and economic situation after some decades of devastation. One of Ratanak's projects recently has been to rescue people and especially children from the sex industry in Cambodia, which has become a huge problem. It's horrible. So yeah, donate! To clarify, EPIC Riders sees none of the money that has been donated, and neither does Ratanak International. Both our team and the organization have a policy where 100% of the donations go directly to the work on the ground. Praise our Father that such great work is being done in Cambodia!

So goodbye, BC. What a beautiful place.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Off We Go!

So we're off on our EPIC journey. It's pretty great so far! We left yesterday around 3:30 and we drove through the night, stopping only for gas. I drove between 8:30 and 12:30. It was enjoyable and we got to see Chicago at 55mph. Now we're at the border of Wisconsin and Minnesota! It's 6 in the morning here and I've had a fantastic breakfast for only $5. It's going to be a struggle keeping on the pounds this summer. Anyways, how are you doing this fine morning? Send me a facebook message, tweet, instagram, email, or comment on the blog! Peace!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Life Update

Hey everyone!

I think I've accepted the fact that I'm bad at blogging frequently.
Anyways, training has been going well, if you're wondering! I participated in the Paris to Ancaster bike race a week or two ago, and let's just say that was really muddy. I've been training on the road too. I've done a couple rides so far and I'm just in the process of tuning up my ride.
But I have some food for thought. Ironic because it's about food. I was driving today and I hadn't had supper yet, so I decided to grab a pizza. I wasn't even that hungry, but I didn't want to feel hungry later so I got pizza. Then I realized how silly that is. I only ate because it was suppertime. It made me realize that I do a lot of things to feel comfortable, with eating especially. My body really doesn't need all of the food I eat. 3 meals a day with a bunch of sweet snacks in between. I might say, "I'm starving!" when a little research has shown me that starvation doesn't set in until about 3 days without any food, and one can go many weeks eating little food without reaching starvation. So in conclusion, I've been thinking that I pamper my body way too much.
I've also taken up skateboarding recently. Both my wrists and knees are hurting, but it's going well regardless!
Enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I don't know if you want to read this...

So...
Long time no blog.

I haven't exactly been good with this whole blogging thing. I think that when my life gets busy I just forget to do a lot of stuff. Like my laundry. Does anyone else have this problem too?

I'm supposed to be blogging about my cycling team, the EPIC Riders, and my progress with training. Well, if you don't know, I'm biking across Canada this summer. My team's name is the EPIC Riders and we're raising support for this organization called Ratanak International. They help oppressed people in Cambodia. 

Cambodia is a country near Thailand in Asia. Let's just say that it's been through some rough times. There was a civil war, and the living conditions are really bad there. What's even worse is the fact that children and young girls are kidnapped by slavers who turn them into prostitutes in brothels. Whether they have no parents, or even if they do, no one has the power to stop these men, because the government is corrupt and weak.

I'm going onto Google right now and I type in "Phnom Penh sex trade". Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia. The first article is from the University of Rhode Island. that's a trustworthy source. The article is basically a collection of other quotes about Cambodian sex trafficking. If you look inside the article, which is a little outdated, you can read that approximately 15 000 women are sex slaves in Phnom Penh alone.

15 000?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

I thought slavery was abolished like a billion years ago! I can't even justify having one slave! A slave isn't just a slave. A slave is a REAL person. Like you. Or me. Apparently these slaves are usually around 15 to 18 years old! These are highschool-age girls!

Let's take a step back for a moment. The average highschool population around my area is 1500. The Cambridge schools average about 1000, and the K-W schools have double. There are 17 public highschools and 5 Catholic highschools in Waterloo Region. There's also a French highschool that might have 200 students in it, and a Christian highschool with even less students. If you don't like math, don't worry. I'm doing it for you :) So that's 22 secondary schools (not counting the French or Christian) with about 1500 students each.

22 X 1500 = 33 000

Half of the students are girls.

33 000 / 2 = 16 500

Round down to eliminate overcalculation. 15 000

Now, imagine all of the highschool girls in Waterloo Region, and there's about 15 000. Could you believe it if they were all enslaved in brothels around Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge? That's INSANE. Why should we have a place on Earth like that?

I don't know if you believe in God, or Jesus Christ. If you do and you're ignoring this, YOU'RE INSANE. If you don't, you have to believe in some sort of moral system. Let's look at an example. All of us have the capacity to do good things and the capacity to do bad things. Our world is somewhere in between being totally good and totally evil. We can't bow down to our evil desires, becaus then I'm asking the question: Where is the line? Where do we stop? can you imagine a world that is totally evil? I don't want to. Somehow we've come to the conclusion that the line where we stop is somewhere after enslaving 15 000 girls in a single city.

You might say, "Why should I care? Those people are on the other side of the globe. They don't affect me." Don't you care about anyone? Do you have children? Siblings? Parents? Close friends? You don't even want to think about a situation where one of them is enslaved and raped countless times. I know you would do everything in your power and maybe even outside that to stop said situation. The people who are being oppressed are just like your loved ones. Equally human. And human life is valuable. We can't overlook a situation like this.

Are we robots?

Now we come to you as the EPIC Riders and ask, "Can you give anything to stop the inhumanity? Can you even give $5? The price of one trip to Starbucks?" We're giving our talents as cyclists, and the funds that we can, to encourage other people such as yourself to give as well.

I would be surprised if more than one person got to the end of this blog. My brother just walked in and said that I'm guilt-tripping. Whatever, he's argumentative by nature and I don't mind doing a little guilt-tripping. Maybe someone will listen. Oh well, it was worth it anyways ;) I hope you had a great Christmas! Keep going with those New Year's resolutions!

So if you're interested in Ratanak International or EPIC Riders, go to:

 epicriders.org
 ratanak.org

We're both on the Facebook and Tweeter.

Maybe I am too long-winded