The Ride to Conquer Cancer 2014

I’ve heard many stories about the Ride to Conquer Cancer and the sense of community and accomplishment enjoyed as those cyclists pedaled over 200 km from Vancouver to Seattle. But when I heard those stories I didn’t really think it was anything I’d ever want to take on myself. 200 km is a long way to sit on one of those seats!

However, surprisingly for me, a seed must’ve been planted and I gradually came around to the idea over a period of a few months. I had learned to appreciate the clarity of mind that riding offered, and began to wonder about riding longer distances. Gee, would I get greater clarity? Maybe!

I cycle to work nearly every day – a 10 km commute each direction. Half of it is a climb, and half a descent. I would just need to do a week’s worth of commuting in two days.

When I signed up, I was immediately impressed at how friendly the people at the organization are! They even gave me tips on riding and training.

That was also when I found out about the donation commitment.

I quickly realized that the physical effort was going to be superseded by the financial effort! I was doing well with my training, but as a more introverted guy, I didn’t really have the salesmanship to drum up the big donations that others had. I’m not sure if I was more intimidated by the ride or the fundraising.

I also was advised my trusty hybrid bike is too bulky for a lengthy ride. However, even with a “clunky” bike or fundraising shyness, whenever I was out training I became more focused on getting the ride done. I thought about people I’d known who have had cancer touch their lives, and I thought about my own grandfather who I never really knew because cancer took him when I was three. I’d decided I was going, so the fundraising was just going to have to happen.  I was committed and there was no turning back. Focus and determination have served me through training, and my hybrid and I have been through hundreds and hundreds of kilometers together but still, I needed a little help with fundraising.

The week before the ride took place I was still three hundred dollars short of my goal. And that’s when Long View stepped in! Our receptionist told me that the social committee had planned to hold a bake sale in the next few days, but I knew in order to pick up my event package on the weekend I needed to figure something out quick. I got notice via email from another colleague that the social committee went out that very morning and purchased some gourmet donuts for the office; they were taking donations to help my cause!  $180 was raised that afternoon, and more the next day during a 50/50 draw.

And just like that, within 48 hours, I closed the distance to my fundraising goal. One challenge conquered, now all I needed to do is convince my legs that they could keep up their end of the deal.