Directional hand-made signs were the first indications Andrew Sedmihradsky and his son Max were close to Memorial Park in Tweed.
However, if there was any confusion the loud cheers, applause and siren from a very shiny red fire truck would have helped them find their way.
At 3 p.m. Wednesday, Andrew and Max ended their fourth day in Max’s Big Ride and it was clearly an emotional arrival.
“This is amazing. Honestly, I am completely blown away. I was choked up coming in and seeing the signs and everybody here, I guess when you start a trip like this, I didn’t even dare dream about a welcome like this,” said the elder Sedmihradsky.
Andrew and Max are travelling the 600 kilometres between Ottawa to their home town of Hamilton along the Trans Canada Trail to raise money for Jesse’s Journey using a donated cargo bike.
Jesse’s Journey is a registered charity and a partnership of both science and families dedicated to help discover a treatment and care of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
Four-year-old Max has the fatal DMD that impacts one in every 3,500 boys.
Max’s Big Ride started at the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Father’s Day and is set to end on Canada’s Day in Hamilton where they will take part in the festivities.
Mother Kerri Sedmihradsky said it took a few days after receiving the news for this idea to blossom.
“It started out as an idea to ride across Canada, which he realized quite quickly was pretty crazy,” she said.
While Kerri enjoys the luxuries of an air conditioned van, Andrew and Max have had the chance to engage in conversations to pass the time.
At such a young age Max is filled with the same curiosities as any other four-year-old boy.
“What do dragon flies look like up close, do dragon flies have stingers? When Grandpa was riding with us we played a lot of Cars and [Grandpa] is Chick Hicks and we’re Lightning McQueen and we’ve got to win…. So, all sorts of stuff,” said Andrew.
And there is always the musical stylings of Max and his kazoo or his whistle that he has received along the way that help break-up the conversations.
Tweed’s mayor, Jo-Anne Albert, along with organizations in Tweed such as the Lions Club, Kiwanis, and the Legion, were on hand to show their support for the father and son.
Tweed resident Christopher Lindsay played a big role in raising local support for Max’s Big Ride in Tweed.
Lindsay has a cousin in Burlington who has a nephew with DMD and is heavily active in raising money for Jesse’s Journey.
This was just his way of helping spread the word, he explained.
“For something that was a large project, you can only know how big it’s going to be when you start it. They had an encounter yesterday with flooding on the trail which has made it a hard day, but I think at the end of each day there is something like this in Tweed that brings them back to where they need to be to start the next day,” said Lindsay
As Max and his father came down from the emotional high of their arrival, Andrew said one thing is for sure.
“You’ve really set the bar high for the rest of the towns that we are going to be passing through along our way back to Hamilton.”