Last weekend, as a welcomed respite from the hectic schedules many of us have been keeping as another school year comes to a close, several friends, colleagues and I took part in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer in support of the BC Cancer Foundation.
This year (the fifth edition of the event) was a record-setter in more ways than one. 3,011 riders plus countless volunteers raised over 11.2 million dollars and set out to cover the 242 kilometers between Cloverdale's Fraser Downs Park and Redmond's Marymoor Park. Team Bodin, the team founded in memory of our good friend Lorne Bodin, was comprised of 14 members (riders and volunteer crew), and raised $26,562.
Many of us rode last year, and were so inspired by the experience, decided to do it again. After the cold and wet of 2011, most of us were certain that the weather could only be better this time around. We were wrong. While slightly warmer, Saturday had significantly more rain this year, and while it did not impact the ride (because once you are wet, you are wet!!), the campsite in Mount Vernon was a challenge. We arrived after pedalling through adverse conditions, only to see the weather worsen in the tent-city that had been set up for us. The baseball field we were inhabiting eventually turned into a mud-pit. With thousands of people huddled under shelter and lining up to get food and use the bathrooms, it was impossible to stay dry or get clean. But none of the inconveniences brought on by the weather could dampen the enthusiasm of the group as we all sat together, shared stories and listened to inspiring speakers.
Sunday was much more dry, and the pleasant riding conditions made day two very enjoyable. After journeying through the beautiful farm and parklands of Western Washington, we rolled into our destination of Redmond around 2:00 PM, cheered in by enthusiastic supporters and family. Emotions ran high as we all thought of who we were honouring and what we were trying to do.
It truly was an epic journey, one that has created memories for me that will last a lifetime. Thanks to every one of the team members for sharing the experience with me, and to all of the donors and contributors whose generosity allowed it to happen, and whose donations are making a difference. Let's keep up the good fight!