- Conquer Cancer - short summary
- July 9th, 2011
So it has been weeks since the ride and I am planning my next 100k just for fun one so I thought I should write and let you know how much I appreciated your support.
As you know my brother Kris and I did the ride together with the support of friends and family, under the team name of Knfused Cancer Conquerors. Together with your support we raised $5671.00 for Cancer Research at one of the leading hospitals in BC.
When I first proposed the idea I think the entire family thought I was nuts for looking at doing this again. BUT there is no better way to celebrate a birthday than to spend time and energy trying to make the world a slightly better place and making a world of strange memories with family (chosen or otherwise).
My birthday, June 18th the first ride day started off drizzling, which soon built in to pouring rain. Truly we experienced all aspects of West Coast weather ranging from pouring to drizzle to fog and back again. The first break was at the boarder where both Kris & I were so happy to be one of the 200 or so riders with a Nexus card. Most of Saturday went relatively well. It was a hard day as how ever long you train, you rarely train to bike for 8+ hours while wet. It was also a day of climbing but subtle 5 degree climbs that went on for 50 +km at a time. Wonderful views of mist covered mountains, otters, herons and cyclists saying "on your left" abounded.
I am not the fastest rider just rather determined. Traveling by bicycle is a rather intimate way to see the countryside. In some ways there is something to look at every meter it seems, in others it maybe just that you need something to look at so you forget that your legs & butt are hurting or hands freezing which was also the case. June on the west coast is a bit different from June inland, I have to say.
We were happy to reach the end of the day, at Mount Vernon and see both Piper & Meegan as well as the sun that finally broke through the clouds. Day one was 120k or so and every km was cycled by both of us.
Unfortunately I spent half the Saturday night being up with a hacking cough. Some how my lungs, and the slight cold I had had setting out didn't appreciate being wet and cold all day.
So Sunday was a harder day for me, between not exactly being rested and the grey continual drizzle. First 30k I thought was going to kill me but I kept going and Kris was kind enough to wait at the first rest stop for me. Got stopped by a hacking fit another 15k on from that and decided when the assist vehicle came by to grab the lift the 15k to the next rest stop. Not 100% certain where we were at that point in time but the rest stop was at the base of a mixed use - bike, horse, walk trail building up an escarpment. It was a beautiful rain forest like scene or it would have been beautiful other than the fact it was still raining. Actually, I would like to go back and do the trail again, when I can feel my hands (I was missing my winter cycling gloves) for the glimpses between the trees of the mountains and hills around us made it worth it to keep going.
At about the 85k mark I was at the base of a mountain climb looking up and contemplating. I had done deals with the universe to get me there - along the lines of "make it to the next corner and then you can stop"... which would work out to a consideration of "this corner wasn't that bad, how about the next?". By 85k mark, the lungs weren't buying it, so I did get off my bike for asthma drugs, water, gel pack and some serious thinking about what to do. Suddenly right in front of me was an assist vehicle asking me if I had phoned for a ride. I hadn't, but decided that when the universe answers questions of "what now", you should listen and take the ride. I grabbed a ride to the next rest stop but as the asthma attack hadn't finished they took me another 10k to the last before the end one. I wanted to ride the last 20k come heck or high water. So I waited for Kris who had been riding all of way and we ended the ride the way we had started it, talking about our memories, family & life. (Okay, you can tell the endorphins were kicking in by now as we talked about what is next as well...so far 2015 might be Montreal to Quebec City.)
It was a great feeling to cross that line - to know that even if I had only biked 200+ out of the 240K I had done my best and hadn't anything in reserve.
Thank-you for your support. I couldn't have done this without you.