On August 10th and 11th, I hit the road with a crew of Long View employees from the Calgary and Edmonton offices for the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer.

I took the ride on because I can. And I wanted to do it for all of the people that can’t. Cancer is a horrible disease that has hurt the lives of so many friends and family. I know far too many that have felt this. We need to make a difference in whatever way we can. On the ride I chose to take my time and to talk to people, to hear their story and to honor their story in that way.

The ride was definitely epic. We pedaled 220 kilometers over two days, riding through beautiful Kananaskis country to Okotoks and then completing the ride in Calgary. The ride features a fully catered camp-out on the Saturday night and then Sunday is the return trip to our origin point. It was a surreal and inspirational site to see thousands of tents pitched in a huge field; temporary homes to the huge army of us that had taken up this challenge.

We had some team members that were seasoned riders and they were right among the first groups to finish Saturday’s 118km in just over three hours – our President, Gord Mawhinney, was one of them!

There were also some of us that had just started cycling and had trained specifically for the ride – like me! I was captain of our Edmonton office’s team and we have Alex Stieda working with us. Alex is a cycling celebrity, the first ever North American to wear the Yellow Jersey in the Tour de France, in 1986. He organized a beginner’s riding group, taking us out riding around Edmonton and showing us the ways of the road. Laura Vezer was captain of the Calgary team and they were doing similar rides in the months leading up to the event, as well.

I’ve worked with Long View for over a year now, and based on the degree in which everyone around me rallied to support our Ride to Conquer Cancer, and the determination and commitment we all displayed in finishing the ride, I’m totally convinced of that special Long View culture that I’d heard about when I first started.

We are all so much stronger together, and the way our incredible team united to complete the ride is such an illustration of this. Long View was able to raise over $53,000 for research through the 19 of us that participated.

I might be biased, but based on the fact that the Calgary Herald used a photo of us for their story on the ride, and the organizers also chose a Long View photo for their social media broadcasts, suggests that they might have agreed that there was an extra special quality to our team!