I think most of us have all experienced the feeling when you find out that someone you know has cancer. It’s a feeling that leaves you a bit empty and helpless, and you just hope the diagnosis is optimistic. Sometimes the news is good and sometimes it’s not. Cancer is an unfortunate and unfair deal of the cards.
Recently, I found out a family friend was battling an aggressive brain tumour and earlier this month he lost the battle. Doug was the Fire Chief at the City department after my Dad. He spent his career giving to others – putting his life on the line, serving his community and being a leader to the men and women of the department. His diagnosis and death seemed really unfair. But as it goes with the brotherhood of the fire department, the same men and women who Doug once stood behind, have rallied to stand behind him. A group of local firefighters started a ‘Team Doug’ for the Ride to Conquer Cancer to honour him and his battle. When my dad got the call to join the team, he asked me to join him. I couldn’t think of better time spent on my beloved bicycle.
I once read a quote from Arthur Conan Doyle that said, “When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” Riding a bicycle is joyful, adventurous, and freeing. There is almost nothing in this world I love more on a Sunday morning in the warm morning sun than to hop on my bike and set off down the road with the wind against my cheeks. Sometimes, for very brief moments, I will even close my eyes and pretend I’m flying. It’s one of the few times I feel like a kid again – wild, young and free. Whether in solitude or with a gang of friends, riding is therapy. And the Ride to Conquer Cancer offers just that.
At the end of August I will join my dad and thousands of other cyclists, and we will ride from Cloverdale in the Lower Mainland of B.C. through to Seattle, Washington. Over two days, we will cover 200 kms.
For so many reasons, this will be one hell of an epic ride and I’m honored to ride side by side with my dad, whose friend courageously fought the fight of his life.
I look forward to sharing my love of cycling on the open road and connecting with others who share similar stories and who are just trying to do something bigger than themselves and make a difference. This will be a great adventure and I can’t wait to share the story.
If you would like to be part of my journey and help me honour Doug – you can donate on my personal Ride to Conquer Cancer page.