The Ride to Conquer Cancer is supposed to be 200km from Vancouver to Seattle which is a Challenge to begin with. On the drive home with my husband Rene and the kids, my son Ethan asked me why I kept saying “epic”. Here’s how the story goes:
Day 1 (Saturday, August 29th) turned into 150km because of the “storm of the decade” that we rode our bikes through, with fallen trees and power lines causing multiple re-routing, many people shortly after my group were told they weren’t allowed to finish and got picked up and taken to camp in rescue vehicles. I can imagine the relief they must have felt in that moment but also the disappointment that follows. I was in a “special” group of riders that got re-routed, then re-routed again and pretty much lost for a while, but we kept on riding into the 80 MPH headwinds, often on farm roads with little or no shelter. Nearing the end of Day 1 I was praying to God to swap the soul crushing headwind for the torrential downpour that we started with at 7:30am in the dark in Cloverdale. I had a lot of conversations with God that day!
Day 2 was another 125km. Are you doing the math?!! The winds had died down but they were “only” 15-25MPH headwinds…what a relief! It was still hard, but more enjoyable, yet still never ending. The tears at the finish line were not tears of joy, but relief to have FINALLY made it there.
It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, harder than hiking to base camp Mt Everest, child birth, public speaking and anything else I can think of! I sent a thank you my support person for not letting me in the car with 10k to go at the end of day 1 and encouraging me to finish against 80mph headwind when I had nothing left. I have to say that a victory is very much sweeter when the challenge is monumental. I feel like a new person. The next day I went to the gym and got my ass kicked by Phil…SERIOUSLY? Lesson 423 from the ride; no one is going to feel sorry for you, suck it up princess!
After seeing the pictures Rene took of me at the finish line that brought tears to her eyes and tears back for me too, my bestie and neighbor asked me if I was happy I did it. I didn’t have an answer for her then, but it’s a simple YES. I seriously feel changed, improved, renewed, more loving, more appreciative, even food tastes better than ever before. I would encourage you all to do something that expands your limits and hope that my story and my EPIC ride motivates you!