ShareThis Page

Family makes ambitious Canadian trek on bicycles

| Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The Snyder children and their father, Steve, cross the border from the U.S. into Canada.
The Snyder children in Toronto, with the CN Tower in the background.
The Snyder kids don their ponchos in the first day of their trip.

A Pleasant Hills family spent part of June on the move.

This year, the Snyder family rode 650 miles around Lake Ontario from June 10 to 22.

Gabriel, 10; Elizabeth, 9; Belle, 7; and their father, Steve, began and ended their trip next to Horseshoe Falls. After biking 30 miles in a torrential downpour, the Snyders could not find anywhere to stay, so they took a taxi back to the truck, thereby losing a day and their miles. The next day, they drove back to the falls and started over going the opposite direction.

“I hate wet socks and shoes,” Gabriel said about the experience with a smile.

They weren't discouraged by the setback.

“I could just see this year how proud they were compared to other years,” Steve Snyder said.

This year, the children faced new challenges, such as adding more weight to their saddlebags and battling rain, wind and hills on their ride.

The trip also was educational for them, as they each selected a charity for study and fundraising. Each child raised more than $100 and will complete a research project.

Gabriel selected the American Diabetes Association after seeing its pamphlet in Walgreens and at local youth triathlons.

Elizabeth and Belle both selected animal-related causes, such as the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society and the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, because of their love for animals.

“Not only do we teach those goals,” Steve Sndyer said, “but we want it to be educational.”

In addition to the research about their charities, the family visited zoos on their trip and landmarks such as the CN Tower in Toronto.

The family bonding makes the trip special.

“Our favorite part is spending time with our dad,” Gabriel said.

Elizabeth and Belle agreed wholeheartedly.

Brittany Goncar is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.