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Archive for the ‘it’s a big ride’ Category

A sort-of bucket list…

Apparently I have one, a bucket list.  There are things I should do before I die according to the Big Guy.    I have more  “I should do that” or “That would be fun, let’s do that one day” thoughts which are not on paper and may or may not happen.   So…nope, no sheet of paper with the title “Things I really want to do” with a sub-title  of  “Must do or I will die unhappy” list taped to the fridge.  No, I have just two little dreams: 1 – is to write and 2 – is to play the piano again.  Both by the way, I am doing, well, the writing I am doing, s-l-o-w-l-y and the tinkling of the ivories, not at all.



…Big Ride 2010

... very proud family & FAT TIRE pale ale ...

Today is an auspicious day to remember good men, fathers and one good man – my sons’ Dad.  The Big Guy is a very good man and a great dad.  He is also a survivor of cancer, that insidious disease . Three and a half years ago, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer.  Last year we were cheering him on as he crossed the finish line of the Ride To Conquer Cancer 2009, the two-day ride from Vancouver to Seattle.  There were tears, cheers, and Fat Tire beer to celebrate his big ride.  Chad and his dad are cycling in the Ride To Conquer Cancer 2010 this weekend.  Cheers to Chad and Doug.

This year is the Big Ride Galloping Goose Trail edition with the sons and daughters-in-law.  They were a happy group at the end of the trail.  Here is to good men and fathers everywhere, enjoy your day. 

When we do this again, the girls and I go to the spa.  The boys ride with their Dad and have a couple of beers at the pub, at the end of the trail.

… big ride, the start & the finish line …

... getting ready ...

... getting ready ...

“Riders, put on your helmuts.  Get ready, stretch, get set, GO!” 

Here are a few photos to hold you until Steve and I get together to create a slide show of the big ride:

... The Big Rider ...

... The Big Rider ...

Ready to roll.  See the yellow tag on the frame, that, my friends and family tells everyone, this rider is a cancer survivor “riding for the cure.”

... crossing finish line ...

... crossing finish line ...

The finish line had a slight uphill grade … after 130+ kms each day, ending on a hill.
... very proud family & FAT TIRE pale ale ...

... very proud family & FAT TIRE pale ale ...

Lesley Horsman and I have decided, we can walk rather than ride our bikes, so therefore, next year there will be a team walking the two day 60 kms – Walk for Breast Cancer.  Come on girls, we can walk around this beautiful coastland to help find a cure!

… big ride, day two, end of the day …

It was so exciting to watch Herb ride up the last part of the big ride.  We arrived at the University of Washington  to music, laughter, tears and celebration as the riders made their  trek up a long uphill grade to the finish line.  Each face a study in exhaustion and exuberance.   The young man with the prosthetic leg, the uni-cyclist, the cancer survivors, the teams of cyclists were greeted by proud well-wishers cheering each one for  accomplishing the two day ride from Guildford to  Seattle. 

Our hearts were bursting with love and pride as we watched Herb come toward us on that last uphill trek to the finish line.  Steve had a cold beer for him, (aptly named FAT TIRE, a pale ale), hugs and kisses all around, handshakes from others and the euphoria of such a moment in time.

I will post again later when the camera gets back home.   Thank you to all for your support, love and prayers for good weather.  There was a cloud burst just outside of Mount Vernon, pouring rain on the riders.  Twenty minutes later the sun was shining again as if to say “a warm, safe journey to the finish line.”

Until later, enjoy your day.

… big ride, day two …

Day two – the sun is shining!   I have not heard from the big rider yet.  We are hoping the knee holds.  It’s the old motorcycle injury in the left knee  that flares up once in a while.  He will need to stretch, stretch, and stretch before riding today, also a little advil won’t hurt.  Stay tuned!

A very Happy Father’s day to all the dads riding in the big ride.  We honour you for commiting to aid in finding a cure.

Yesterday, watching the riders come into camp, a few scenes stand out in my mind.  A young dad greeted by his young children and his wife with such love and tenderness.  A grandfather greeted by his grandchildren, holding a big sign they had coloured themsselves.  The joy on their faces spoke  to my heart.  The uni-cyclist riding into camp.  Wait until you see the photo of a the young man, you will be amazed.  Each rider arrived at camp with much the same look – “I did it.”   Well done, riders.

…big ride, day one

Very early wake  up call this morning, 4:25 am.  Off to Conquer Cancer today.  We arrived at Guildford Center bright and early on this overcast, cool breezy day one of Herb’s big ride to help find a cure. 

Here are a few stats –

1701 riders

$6.7 MILLION dollars raised

One (1) unicyclist  (I kid you not, I saw him coming into Tent City!) and two (2) low riders

A very long line of  privies

Approximately 10 – 15 cargo trucks to carry the rider’s gear

Volunteers, volunteers, & more volunteers, the back bone of charities

Breakfast, music, the usual VIPs, family and friends

It was a pleasure to meet up with the Horsman family, Doug and Kara are in the big ride.  We met Herb’s tent mate from Ontario while we were waiting for the ceremonies to begin.  Jerry from Toronto, riding for his mother, who lost the fight with ovarian cancer.  There are many cancer survivors riding in the big ride.  Many riding for those fighting the dreadful disease right now and all are riding to find the cure.

I was a bit teary by the time the riders left for Mount Vernon and tent city.  Jerry told us a story from last year’s Conquer Cancer ride in Toronto.  He saw a young woman about 28 or so, riding in a tricycle style bicycle.  She was and hopefully still is a cancer survivor, as she had a leg prosthesis.  At 7:30 PM that evening in tent city, the announcement came for the participants to cheer the last rider coming into camp.  It was the young woman arriving.  A survivor riding for herself and for others.  The spirit of the woman speaks to courage, the courage to continue living instead of hiding, the courage to embrace life, the courage to fight on and the courage to show the world the face of a survivor.  Teary stuff!

We stood cheering Herb on as he rode under the “welcome to camp”  banner.  It was a proud moment for our family to watch him ride in.  He is a little worse for wear at the moment, a bit of pain on the side of the left knee and a new bandage around the “training” scrape on the shin, but, happy, very happy he has accomplished the day one ride. 

Stay tuned for day two, the final day of the “Ride to Conquer Cancer to Seattle.”   Steve has a new Nikon with a telephoto lens.  There will be photos.  Cheers everyone and pray NO RAIN for  Sunday.

… preparing for big ride …

... riding the big bike in Ottawa ...

... riding the big bike in Ottawa ...

Two days before the BIG RIDE to “Conquer Cancer” from Vancouver to Seattle.  The bike is all tuned up.  The weather forecast for Sunday is not looking great.   Chance of rain +60%.  Saturday weather looks perfect for a long bike ride.  Clouds & Sun.  

I must have the Big Rider at Guildford by 6 AM on Saturday morning.  Extended an invitation to my nephew and brother to come out for the “send off.”  Dale took it as a dare.  I have not heard from Bruce.  CHICKENS!   Actually Dale might be there.  I will be watching!  If I have to be up by 4:30 AM …. 

More sponsorship money has come in.  Way to go everyone!   The only thing left to do – get a mattress pad for tent city and pack the bags.  Whew…..  think we have everything. 

Lola’s for breakfast on Sunday and the fabulous Georgian Room for breakfast on Monday. ( The Fairmont hotel chain is one of the sponsers for the Conquer Cancer ride.  We get a great room rate.)   The Fairmont Olympic in Seattle is a beautiful heritage hotel.   When you are ready to drive away, they give you chocolate chip cookies, ice cold milk and water.  How great is that.  A snack for the long drive home.  In the meantime, we are resting up for the big ride…. Enjoy your day.