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Ottawa cyclist crosses country on DH bike

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"I did what he said at first, I was pretty freaked out, and after that it was just a waiting game to see what would happen next. I went back outside and did all the things I normally do. I’ve been eating well and riding my bike, and taking care of myself. About six months ago I went to the doctor with another couple of moles that worried me, and it was pretty tense for a couple of days there. I was so relieved that the tests came back negative. To me, that’s positive thinking and trying to live a healthy lifestyle."

McGinn has always been a little different. He’s lived in a few different places over the years, including Mammoth for five years and Whistler for the summer of 1993 – he came for a mountain bike race and didn’t leave for months. Now that he’s back, after 54 days of riding, he’s hoping to stick around for a little while if he can find a job and somewhere to live.

"It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, physically and mentally. When I first started out I could stand up and pedal for maybe a minute before I had to sit, but by the end I could stand for an hour if I had to," he said. "That’s like doing squats for an hour. Actually, it’s even worse than that."

McGinn’s timing was definitely poor. He left Ottawa in one of the coldest and wettest springs in years, and things only got worse as he crossed the country. By the time he hit Alberta, parts of the province were flooding from record rainfalls. Arriving in Whistler wasn’t much better after weeks of cold and wet weather.

"It really tested me, the wet and the cold. By the end of some days I’d be close to hypothermia and might have had some real problems. But people are amazing. I’d go somewhere to eat and someone would buy me a coffee and dinner, and breakfast for the next day," said McGinn. "If you ever need to restore your faith in people, I would recommend doing something like this."

Despite the weather, McGinn really enjoyed his ride. "I smiled every day," he said.

He didn’t stop smiling until he hit Whistler on Wednesday, June 29, and realized that he still had a long way to go to get settled here. The constant rain and grey skies didn’t help either.

Still, no matter what the weather, McGinn says he knew the end would be a letdown.