Another battle won in our war against cancer

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Rich Gestle
1 hr · 

Well it was an epic day as always. 105 riders plus 75 support crew, police, and EHS made the trek from Kelowna to Delta. It was a bit longer as we got in at 11:50pm due to some wicked winds from Pennask all the way past Hope. Let me tell you those winds were stiff!!! Ask Vicki as she and Gladys were the only ones who could see my facial expressions from the front pilot. There were times where I was almost in tears when the legs were screaming. SITFU I said to myself as the winds howled over the team. It’s supposed to be hard-right.I’d like to Thank Kerry and Vicki for heading up this crazy event for the 14th year. Our Support Crews, SAG, Police and BC Ambulance that kept us fed, hydrated and safe throughout the journey. My fellow ride captains for stepping up and managing a huge pack of crazy cyclists. I’d go into battle with any and all of you. You all have hearts like lions and know how to kick some serious butt!
I’d like to especially thank my lovely wife Allison Gestle who also volunteers in many ways for this crazy event not only on the day but throughout the year. I couldn’t do this with out you Mommabear!❤️I am especially proud of all our rookies. Whether they did the full distance or sections you did your best and hopefully proved to yourselves that you can not only accomplish a goal but be apart of something even bigger than you the individual - especially when the going gets tough.We were wearing and flying the flag of rider 85. His name is Bruce Schoenberg and he was a super strong rider/ Ironman who rode with us last year. Since then he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and then had a stoke and passed away yesterday. We all had #85 in our hearts as we rode on Saturday. This is a reminder of how fast life can change and that we need to make it count in life while we still can. Ride on Bruce-you are in our hearts.I had times during the day where I was feeling pretty wiped especially in the front into the damn wind but we did it and the journey was completed. Yes a little late non the less but we all made it back safely with no crashes. (Which is a rare feat) I AM SOOO PROUD OF ALL OF YOU!!!!!!!
We also raised $615,000 as a team so far with donations still coming in.THANK YOU TO ALL MY DONORS AND SUPPORTERS. This is awesome and a huge victory considering the challenges we faced on the ride and prior but the war is still on.Like I said earlier, this year we lost Bruce and earlier we lost Maria. They were both super strong people on our team who were diagnosed and then were stolen from us by cancer very quickly. For me personally I have mixed feelings this year. Cancer doesn’t care if you’re healthy and an athlete,it still kills. This ride for 2018 is a huge victory and be proud-ALL of you. Every kilometre is one more closer to the end, every dollar is one more closer to the cure!
Unfortunately the war still rages on so savor the victory and let’s do it again for 2019!