Tuesday, June 15, 2010

2010 Ride to Conquer Cancer


It rained. For once, the weather man got it right much to our chagrin. Even more annoying, apparently our route was the only wet one, as the 200K riders stayed dry all day. Anyway, I don't want to get all Eyeore on it, but the rain made a challenging weekend that much more difficult. I was going to write a long winded report, but in hopes that you might actually read on, I've decided to go with point form:

Friday:

- Mom came too, and we four (mom, dad, G and me) went to a Happiest on my Bike teammate's house for eats and greets -- amazing spread, thank you Larry!

- Late packing, got me to bed past midnight. Stayed up long enough to experience the torrential downpour that made it difficult to sleep well, envisioning a wet ride in the morning

Day 1:



- All that was left of the rain (sounded like pebbles pelted at our windows!) was the humidity; G drove me to the CNE with 4000 other cyclists. I ended up walking in so we didn't have to sit in the traffic

- Opening Ceremonies wrapped up and we slowly moved out of the CNE. Ten minutes in spot the first crash victim; ambulance was cleaning up ... sucky way to start and end the weekend. Good reminder to keep wits about us!

- Not very long before 200M riders split from 200K riders. Varying levels of experience with group riding in our posse of 6 Team Happiest riders, but managed to stay mostly together

- Rain started just before halfway, with full downpour at the 100K mark. Oh yeah, if we'd signed up for the other route, we'd be drinking beers now!!

- Near the end, dad's knee began to give him some grief ... hrmmm

- Finished the ride up the big escarpment climb, and rolled into camp where the party was in full swing

- Ryan Leech peformed, two free drinks for everyone, good eats of turkey sausage and salads with veggies

- Stats: 4,108 riders, $16.1 million dollars raised, 35.5 million calories burned, 45,000L of sweat, enough kilometres to circle the world 23 times, 1,000 volunteers. Oldest rider? 82

Day 2:

- Weatherman promised better weather, but he was wrong and we began in the rain again

- Dad's knee bothered him from the start and so the ride had a strange tension for us ... knew he could complete it, but should he? Each rest stop we talked about packing it in, and each one, he decided to go "one more". He showed the kind of determination Cancer demands and I'm so happy we finished together to show Cancer what's what. Way to go DAD!!!

- Mom, G and the Gledhills met us in Port Colborne at the cheering station!! Woo hoo!! It was so awesome to see them there, let me tell you.



- More drama: apparently a rider before us fell on the bridge over the canal in Port Colborne (one of those metal grid type surfaces) and lost her finger!!! We walked across that one.

- After the cheering section, we didn't see anymore rain, so we finished in relative peace

- Final 18km section was all along the Niagara River, on smooth flat road. Ahhhhhh.

- We made it!! Beers and burgers were our reward, but then we upped the ante back in Toronto at "My Place" (Jane and Bloor, great pub) where I had a steak dinner, and dad opted for pulled pork. Only, for some reason we were the ones who had trouble finishing while G and mom demolished their trout dinner and portabello burger.



Aftermath:

- 340km, ~13hours ride time, 10,000 calories burned

- Took yesterday off training. It was glorious. Made G a nice dinner to thank him for being such a good fan this weekend, driving all over southern Ontario, taking photos, getting up early on a Saturday and everything. Thank you Gerhard!

- Thank you mom for coming, cheering, taking photos, and all your help leading up to the ride!

- Thank you Aunt Mindy for coming out and cheering!! (... and with a sign too!!)



- Thank you Donors for making it all possible and standing up to Cancer with us

- Thank you Dad, for starting, for finishing, and for an awesome weekend (minus the farts in the tent. not cool.)

- Legs held up great, happy about that. A little knee pain (sports med on Thursday) and of course my "rib-out" is totally enraged at the moment (chiro on Monday)

- Dad's got his knee in a brace and he's icing and elevating (or else he'd better be!)

- Already signed up for 2011. Who's coming with us?



In case you didn't follow the "live updates", here they are:
Twitter

Terrible night's sleep ... but woke up to birds, not raindrops. fingers crossed.



good news! T-storms out of the forecast!! On with the show ...

Having breakfast. smoothie. cereal. rain.

Dropped off my bag, now just need to find my team. Thanks G for battling the event traffic! (@ Opening Ceremonies w/ 24 others)

Looking for team "Happiest on my Bike"! (@ Opening Ceremonies w/ 27 others) http://4sq.com/boRcoC

Found the team! Found dad, found mom, and hear aunt mindy's going to be cheering at a zone in mississauga. Woo hoo! (@ Opening Ceremonies)

We're ready! @ the opening ceremonies! http://tweetphoto.com/26835790

Here we are!! The "before" shot. Gonna have a great ride! http://tweetphoto.com/26835964

Finally on our way. Back of the pack, tailwind! (@ Opening Ceremonies w/ 41 others) http://4sq.com/boRcoC

De-layering! Split from the 200k riders now

Is it really that hard to pee in a hole!? C'mon! (@ Pit stop #1!)

Parking lot is our 2nd pit stop! 70km down. Six in our pack, working on road skills. A little mist ... But will it rain?

Lunch!! My shoes are wet (my everything's wet), it's pouring rain and we *could* be done if we'd just opted for the 200K. Doh.

Space man, oh space man, come rescue me! Brrrrrr http://tweetphoto.com/26890249

Approaching the hammer!! Almost done day 1. Still raining ... http://tweetphoto.com/26905433

Just heard some thunder .... Stay back!! Stay back, thunderstorm!

Hardly any riding between us and a wet tent. Awesome (@ Ride to conquer cancer last pit stop)

Done! Day one in the bag. Time for beers!! (@ Camp w/ 37 others) http://4sq.com/9xoyZ5

Set up camp, had a shower, and now, time to eat. And long-awaited beers, of course.

4108 riders, 16.1 million dollars, 35.5 million calories, enough kilometres to circle the world 23 times. Oldest rider? 82.

We sweat 45,000 litres of sweat, collectively.

1,000 volunteers put on this event! THANK YOU volunteers!! 400 of those also added their fundraising to the cause!

By the way, the 82 year old gentleman lost his sight in both eyes in 1990. He's run the Toronto half marathon, and now the RTCC ... Twice.

Breakfast of champions! A lot of sore people around, but we're stoked. http://tweetphoto.com/27019715

I thought I was deaf in one ear. Then I remembered to take out my ear plug.

I just got asked if I am an Olympian. Now that's some morning sunshine! *flattered*

We're off! In the rain ... Please clear off, brrrr

38.75km first break. One crash on wet pavement by barb. She's ok. Joined a triathlon and felt like the race horse scene in mary poppins.

Pit stop #2. Dad's knees are hurting him ... I have faith. C'mon dad! (@ Grand island bar- b- q) http://4sq.com/aahKYi

74.76km down!

Lunch! About 95km down. And finally, the rain seems to be on its way out. Dry roads at last. (@ Wainfleet Beach) http://4sq.com/ddb5ZM

Last pit stop! 40 more km. Saw mom, g and the gledhills cheering! Wooooo!!!

We did it!! We didn't know if we could, but gramma helped us. Celebrating now! Thanks for tuning in. Full blog soon xoxo

Post-ride steak dinner. Check. (@ My Place - a Canadian Pub) http://4sq.com/aKeaN