Bicycles for Humanity

 The Weather

A rider never wants the temperature to be to hot on the day of a long ride. We were lucky the skies were blue with scattered clouds and the temperature heading into the Pemberton Valley hovered around 16 degrees celsius… Perfect.

Your Attire

Thank goodness the night before the ride Shauna asked me what I was wearing for shorts, as a novice rider I planned on wearing my running shorts, she quickly went into the garage and came out with a pair of Oakley riding shorts, padded in the right places. In the end I was one lucky girl.

You need a very good helmet, riding gloves to absorb the vibration and sunglasses to keep all the pollen, bugs and sun from your eyes. Clip in bike shoes are highly recommended… apparently my ride was a little more difficult because I didn’t have proper riding shoes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling_shoe

Two bottles of water is essential and hopefully you arrive at the event hydrated. The young man at the Pemberton Valley Bike Shop suggested I purchase some cream. I now understand why.  http://bit.ly/owwwwy

The Distance

As Norm so eloquently said to me after the ride “You don’t go from zero to eighty in one day” perhaps a little training would have been a good idea.

We had a choice of 80km 120km or 140km and really the 80km turned out to be 90km… When you don’t know, what you don’t know, you wouldn’t know that 80km was actually as far as it is…. and for some seasoned riders it was a perfect Sunday afternoon. However for some of us it tested our inner strength and determination for succeeding, it made us push ourselves like we hadn’t done in years… and it really gave you a sense of pride, of accomplishment, and yes a little soul-searching too… by this I mean after the ride I spoke with several bikers and each commented on how they talked themselves up each hill, how they kept saying “You can do this, one more hill, one more hour”…..

The entire ride would have gone down as a wonderful adventure except for a couple of vehicles that apparently were on their way to a fire… honking their horns or giving the poor bike rider the bird… I decided that not a lot of hill billies understand road bike tires are not made for the gravel… and thus a little education is still needed. Share the Road.

The first half of the ride was a challenge for me, but with a good hour rest in-between and a burger we’d be ready for the finale… oh not so… you don’t hop off your bike, you wobble off your bike and yes you are very hungry, but to gobble down a burger and get right back to it… might not have been the best idea. (for me anyhow) Look at all this fabulous food and the desserts … Sugar Momma Pastries was here…. what’s our hurry? The stop at Anderson Lake, our rest area, was short-lived, too many eager bikers…and they were right, you don’t want to put off getting this ride over with…

I decided for the return trip I’d take in all the beauty and enjoy my journey, each hill would be gently peddled and self talk with a little motivational speech … the smell of the wild rose bushes filled the air with a sweet aroma, butterflies flew along beside me and the cool chill from the passing creeks glacier water was refreshing… the strange part of this ride was the constant birds tweeting away at me… I would look over my shoulder to see if a cougar was watching his prey…  I felt quite alone way out in no mans land…. ok, the riders were passing me like I was on a two lane highway in the slow lane… they’d ask me “Are you ok? followed up with “You’re doing great”… I’d smile and save my words for the oxygen I so desperately needed… I kept my eye on my watch and when the last 30 minute countdown started I regained my strength and I just knew I could finish… In fact I was going to beat my first two hours by 10 minutes…. Just the idea of getting off the bike was enough to propel my legs faster and faster…I saw the finish line… my neck, my knees, my BUTT were all cheering hooray we made it!!!

Pat and Brenda Montani

Pat proceeded to tell me he used to ride for 230km every day for thirty days through the Rockies and other mountainous area, I didn’t dare tell him this ride almost killed me… wow 30 days 230km a day… Why? That is an amazing story of perseverance… and an incredible way to strengthen your inner soul and body…

http://youtu.be/-Pu6AekGR2c Video Pat Montani-Bicycles for Humanity

In the end the fund-raiser was a huge success, there was now enough money to pay for the container to ship more bikes to Africa and enhance more people’s lives that might not have an opportunity otherwise to cycle out of poverty… Yes, I will do this again next year… I will however train a little…

A huge thank you is in order for the many volunteers who helped make the ride such a joy, and of course to all the riders who I tip my helmet to… boy are guys in shape… what a great way to spend a Sunday…

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Cheers!

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