Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ride to Conquer cancer

Recap for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. A first major destination for Moses Li, a training coach for Innovative Fitness. thanks for sharing!

I wanted to let you guys know what it was like and what an awesome experience it was to do something out of my comfort zone. Also to encourage anyone who haven't yet tried something "Major" to get out there too. Enjoy.

Ready. Set. RIDE. What an amazing journey the Ride to Conquer Cancer was. With 260km of riding, 1701 riders, and 6.9 million dollars in fundraising for Cancer research this was as much a success as an event as it was for each individual rider who completed it.

As we crossed the start line amongst the sea of yellow jerseys, you could tell just how much experience each rider had. There were some novice and some seasoned. Being a pretty new cyclist myself, it was slightly nerve racking to ride in such a dense group of people. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who felt this way, because right off the bat there were a couple bad crashes, one of which me and several other riders even provided first aid for several minutes. While that seems a grim thing to mention, that was really the whole theme of the ride. People helping each other because that’s what people were in it for.

In terms of the ride, rolling hills with ocean scenery along the shores of White Rock, country side views and a 2 hour wait at the Peace Arch border crossing made the first day pretty easy going to start off with. Add the support volunteers and pit stops every 21 km and it made for a pretty sweet ride! At about kilometer 62 we started to pick up the pace as we rode through small-town USA. A sore butt/back, some drawn out hills and about 40 km later we’d hit that 100 km mark. For someone who had never rode more than 75 km in a day I was feeling pretty good. So only 30 km to go and a strange rubbing noise got my attention and I encountered another first experience, not one but two flat tires in a row. With the help of a passing rider we got things sorted out and it was back on track to camp. With the juice starting to run a little low, I made it to camp with a warm and enthusiastic welcome…time for a beer and a massage.

While Daryl and I never got that massage, we did get that beer and some time hanging out and getting to know new friends and customers current and old. It was party time in tent city! However, a hot shower, full stomach, and dropping temperature put us to bed early, but that was probably for the better.

Day 2. A quick pack up and breakfast and we were back on our saddles…which made me cringe the instant I sat down. Thank God for shammy lube. The second day picked up on some flats that just flew. Some great cooperation between fellow riders and draft lines made the first 25 km a breeze (literally). It was a cold day and I was glad for my outer shell I brought along. Parts of me (my ass) got progressively more and more sore, which didn’t help the onslaught of hills at the 88th kilometer. But only 50 km to go! Rain, thunderstorms and eventually hail slowed things down a bit but when I was so close to finishing something that I’d been working hard for, nothing could hold me back. Wolfing down one last snickers bar, and a cup of Gatorade, Team IF (me and Daryl) made its way along the last 22 km to the finish. Although we had to weave our way through a marathon and local bike riders, the scenic cycling path we were on finally came to an end at the University of Washington. What a reception and feeling of accomplishment as we crossed that finish line. The MC announced over the speakers what had been accomplished with the Ride, and I realized what I had just been a part of. I couldn’t have asked for a better first MAJOR destination. I then asked myself... what’s next?

Moses Li

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