When asked who I wished to dedicate my ride to, I had a realization.

I am not only riding for those who are currently battling cancer (love you Gary). I am not only riding for those whose battle is over. I am not only riding so that I can have giant quads and a sore butt. 

Ultimately, I am riding for the living. I ride for my parents, who are thankfully healthy and active, but like all others, are not immune to the threat of this disease. I ride for my brother, my partner, my friends, my coworkers, and my extended family. I ride for those I love and care about, with a desperation and hope that in some small way, I can intervene in the possibility that cancer may affect them too. I do not wish to wait until cancer comes knocking; instead, I want to get out in front of it, and kick it in the face, to do my part to find a cure.

So to all of those who have generously supported my ride, thank you. I’m doing this for you. Together, we are making a difference in the fight against cancer.

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I often get asked, why do I do this? It has been my honour and joy to participate in R2S for the last 8 years with a wonderful group of caring and very dedicated people all in the hope of finding a cure or at the very least better quality of life and ways to mitigate the frigg’n disease’s impact on those afflicted and their families.

I had decided I wasn’t going to do the ride this year. This ole body is beaten up with ailments. Lots of new commitments in my new community of Saturna and training is a challenge. But then I heard this from my friend/colleague:

What began December 01, 2018, with a trip to Emergency for suspected cardio issues, has turned into the fight of my life 6 days later. After blood work, x-rays, and multiple CT Scans … diagnosis is widespread cancer throughout my abdominal region. It is beyond surgery and radiation. The only treatment left is chemotherapy...that may give me 4, perhaps 12 … maybe 18 months to live. The fight of my life begins.

I knew immediately that I had to do the ride again this year – how could I not? How important are my insignificant concerns in the face of my friend’s illness? And not just him – all those affected by cancer. He went on to say:

Up until last week, I had never even spent a night in the hospital. All my “ailments” have been mostly minor, and easily treatable, resulting in really only minor disruptions in my life. Today … I am a “cancer patient.” I join the leagues of those I know, and have known, who are in a serious fight … perhaps for life itself. Be assured, the emotion … sadness I feel, is not about my situation. I feel that I have never supported enough.... empathized enough … or loved enough … those who walk the road of serious illness. Today I walk with them … and maybe I can even walk for them. This journey will teach me much … 

I am inspired by my friend’s words. He reminds me that we are in this together and it’s important that we all help in whatever way we can. I will do my part by riding 400 kilometers from Kelowna to Delta in one day – a comparatively small thing.Again, this past weekend I was inspired by everyone. Kerry and Vicki’s words, Gary’s battle, I’ve ridden next to Gary and laughed, chatted, disparaged Larsen Hill. I looked around that circle this weekend WOW! No one in that circle judges … we are there for one reason, raising money for research.

I struggled Sunday, jet lag, fatigue, less training and there I was again causing a “gap” … Marcus appears and offers to pull me to close the gap, numerous times into Campbell Valley … one of hundreds of examples I’ve experienced over the last 8 years.

It’s taken years for me to in Kerry’s words “Get Over Yourself!” I’m here to raise money for cancer research so that maybe – just maybe – in the future so no one will hear the words, “4, perhaps 12 … maybe 18 months to live”.

Michel

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Ride update for 200k from Vancouver:
200k in the bank.  ( a tad emotional realizing we nailed this and it’s the last one)
Highlights of the ride:
#1 - a strong team
88 riders 
7am to 7pm - 12 hours on the bike
R2S has an incredible reputation, each of you that has created that.

We had zero incidents with upset drivers.  Woohoo.  We do not ride like any other road cyclists or club.  Think about what you have learned and how you follow the rules of the road.

This ride is in some ways harder than ride day.  It is suppose to be challenging and tough as you prepare for the big day.  
If you took some time off the bike, don’t beat yourself up, instead celebrate what you rode.  Each pedal stroke is a stepping stone to ride day.  Many had personal bests, celebrate that:
Personal Bests (just a few to start you thinking of what you accomplished)
  • Distance
  • Speed
  • Time in the Saddle
  • Food you ate
I have included our supporters for the day, as these are a huge part in helping you on training rides and ride day.
  • 20 jugs of water
  • Cold food baths @ Maple Ridge and Birchwood Dairy
  • 200 bags of potatoes chips - donated by IPS
  • 2 cases of banana’s - donated by Fruiticana
  • 4 boxes of dessert squares - donated by The Cakerie
  • Sushi Rice Savory Squares (thank you Siobhan)  A recipe from Alan Lim (from the Tour De France Garmin Team)
  • Refreshing  Watermelon - Amarjit
  • Lorine Hooge's famous homemade cinnamon buns 
  • Samosa’s and Tea - Amarjit
  • Not sure how many pounds of Butter Chicken was consumed…but let’s say a lot!  Thank you Amarjit and friends!
  • Ice Cream cones, Lemonade, and sweets @ the Birchwood Dairy
  • Many mechanicals - derailleurs, pedals, flats. Thank you Kevin for helping with mechanicals.  
  • 4 SAG vehicles to start…thank you Simon Nadeau, Carson Llewellyn, Adam Vitkay, Satbir Gill, Karen Fast, Jax Twa, Erin Ladd and Vicki
  • We added more SAG supports along the way, thank you Klaus Schoenwandt, Jaimie Gentles, Nancy & Alan Houghland, and Allison Gestle
  • A huge thank you to all the ride captains for pulling this ride off in the positive manner you did and taking leadership rolls
  • What a great ride and route..we nailed Silverdale and Mission Bridge…thank you June (it took us 15 years to get this right)
  • Thank you to Rich and June for the route, as always you put everyone thru a tough and challenging ride in preparation for ride day
  • June and Rich…you nailed the pace from the Dairy…we (as in Kerry and I) typically call this part of the ride the “death march” home…this year is was not, thank you.  You set the pace and kept the team together.  
  • Thank you to Brian for your Emergency Medial support.
  • Out of town riders…from Edmonton, Kamloops, Courtney, Nanaimo, Roberts Creek, Saturna Island, Whistler, Squamish, and Chilliwack. Apologies if I missed anyone.
  • Cheers to all the local riders for showing up and riding one more ride with your team.
  • A virtual ride by for Gary Egli, at the start of our ride in our rider circle. Gary is one of our riders from Courtney, who is in the battle of his life.  Gary has been a strong r2s rider for 6 years and is battling Multiple Myeloma.
  • Seeing the each rider battle and take on the challenge of this ride, Inspiring.  
  • Flats, Hills, Rolling Hills, heat and wind.  Woohoo you all rode it!
  • Seeing the mothers and fathers with their kids on the ride…heartwarming.   You are all creating moments and memories.
  • Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you are doing, and for the fundraising you are nailing.  Keep it up, surpass your goals and let’s make a change for the future.
*reminder of the rider/crew meeting on June 6.  
*fundraising opportunity to sell more raffle tickets.. (thank you to Nasir @ Surrey Honda for donating the CRV, Michel Chiasson @ Air Canada for the airline tickets and Keld from Scan Design for the $1000 gift card) 
*fundraising opportunities for the 2 pole-sits coming up over the next 2 weeks.   We will put a link on the website for you to sign up to help. (and it’s a huge amount of fun)
**please, please, do not stop the fundraising, this is important more than you know and realize (chat with me about the why we do this event and how important this is…I’m sure you can hear it in our our voices (Kerry and I)
Don’t miss the next 2 riders..they are just as important as the 200k.  
Vicki, from SAG Support and less than 3 weeks till ride day

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