I have been meaning to post this shortly after the ride but got busy with life as we all do. Anyway I wanted to share a story about a lady who I thinks needs to be recognized for just being a kind person.

The day after our ride I booked a massage at the Aru in South Surrey. When I went in I was introduced to my Masseuse. Her name was Thamara. She asked me some question about why I was in and then prepped me for my treatment. Through our session we got to talk about the ride and my why. I also got to learn a lot about her and how she got into this business, Ends up she was a caregiver to elderly and wanted to get in to helping people through  massage but had to wait until her child was old enough to go to school. Once  the timing was right she put herself through a two year course and funded it with a loan. She is now full-time and I would have to say quite good. 

After I was done and went to reception to pay for my session I was told it was paid for already by Thamara and that she appreciate that I had done ride for such a great cause.

The reason Im telling you this if you are looking for a great RNT or relaxing message and don't have a favorite place , please go to the Aru and ask for Thamara. Mitch  

 

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At the R2S wrap dinner on Saturday night, I heard several comments regarding cramping. Here is an article from Keith Richards (no, not the rock-star) about his experience with cramping and what he did about it. I thought it might be of interest.

 

 Apr 19, 2017

My name is Keith Richards, and I am a 55-year-old master’s class competitive cyclist in central Ontario, Canada. Unlike my British rock legend counterpart, I have taken a different path towards personal health and wellbeing through the healthy lifestyle that cycling inspires. I have been riding since I was in my 20s, and took up competitive mountain biking for many years until I moved into road racing in my 40s. 

My history of competing in longer or more important races is filled with debilitating cramps that have kept me off of the podium for my entire racing career. Yes, I have won or placed in some shorter events, but literally 100% of my “A” priority races have been ground to a standstill by cramps for my entire racing history.

As background, I am an accredited financial analyst, media financial commentator and Portfolio Manager by trade.  My life is all about discipline and quantitative analytics. As such, I approached the subject of eliminating my cramping problem with similar rigor as I do in my profession.

I’ve tried many avenues to solve my cramping dilemma. I train with a coach (Ed Veal, who is a Canadian cycling icon), and spend a good deal of time paying attention to my nutrition and hydration needs. I’ve seen specialized sports nutritionists and sports therapists to try to solve my cramping problem. I do tend to perspire more than other athletes under similar conditions, so some of the work that these experts did with me was to test and adjust my levels of electrolytes. That helped a bit, but I still cramped more often than not at big events. I have also spent hours of time doing internet study, listening to podcasts, and reading books by experts like Joe Friel and others, on the subject of cramping. You name it; I have searched for the answer!

In my search, I knew that humans have the same basic biology even if we differ in some minor aspects on an individual basis. For example, I perspire more than others, and some people may have more slow or fast-twitch muscles making them better at different sports but it’s not like some of us breathe air and others have gills. Thus, there had to be some mechanical/biologically logical problem causing my cramps that could be solved. I just hadn’t found what it was and how to solve it. In my never-ending quest to solve the cramping problem, I read a news article on HOTSHOT, sent to me by my longtime friend Dave Viney, who himself is a bit of a Canadian cycling icon (Dave holds multiple Canadian and world amateur road racing and time trial titles.) Having read something by Joe Friel that seemed to concur with the HOTSHOT science, I decided to buy two cases of the product. I tried a couple in the basement during two of my time trial workouts. Truthfully, it’s rare that I cramp during those short but intense efforts, so I really hadn’t developed any confidence in the product given the lack of a true test. The real test was about to come…

In March, I entered into the Florida Gran Fondo 100-mile race. This race contains four timed segments – sort of like four shorter distance time trial races buried into a century ride. The idea is that you literally redline yourself for about +/- 5 miles in an all-out effort where a chip detects your total time for each segment, and then settle back into an easy tempo pace until the next segment. I was in a leading position in my age group after the second segment. As I approached the third timed segment, the familiar twitch started in my left leg. Damn! I can quantify through 30 years of racing and cramping experience that my leg was about to seize – no mistaking it. But for the first time ever, I had brought two HOTSHOT bottles in my jersey pocket. I popped one of them, swished it through my mouth, and even gargled it a bit, taking it a sip at a time to get maximum nerve impact. Bang! The twitches were gone!!! I hammered through the third points segment and kept my lead without a cramp. But there was one more segment to go.

Another 20 miles of easy paced riding, and we were up to the final segment …One last points segment to go, and I was already starting to feel the twitches in my left leg again! Ahhh! Not now! I was one segment away from the yellow jersey according to the feedback from race officials.

So I opened and swallowed the other HOTSHOT. I swished it around in my mouth like I had with the first one. A few miles later, along came the start flags for the final segment. The fellow who was in second place in my age group is an accomplished masters athlete (and last year’s winner) and he happened to be with me for the segment.  We both knew that it was now or never for him. He attacked in the last mile. In response, I went harder than I think I have ever gone to keep my positioning. In fact, I saw a new maximum heart rate!

Conditions were ripe for my traditional last-minute cramp. Instead, I finished the race with no cramping whatsoever! I took the Yellow jersey in what was to me an important race! HOTSHOT was the only discernible difference this time– I am sold. In fact, I will tell you that I have already entered a big stage race coming up in June here in Ontario, with the hopes of placing high enough to qualify for racing in the World Masters Championships. You better believe that I will be popping HOTSHOT during that important two-day race!

 

 

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I survived!!

Now that a week has passed since the successful finish of the Ride2Survive event I want to thank everyone for their support and encouragement for this crazy endeavor!

We raised $664,000 so far with no deductions for costs as the riders and volunteers pay 100% of the event costs!

The ride started in Kelowna at 3:30 Saturday morning with lots of noise and sirens from the police escort (sorry Kelowna!). The first task was to climb to the Pennask Summit 53 Km away and nearly 5000 feet higher! Yikes! We ride in a tight pack formation with support vehicles front and back including police, ambulance, bike repair, food and cheerleader squads and pick up vehicles if someone is unable to maintain the pace.

We had been warned that the day might set record temperatures (it did!) and by the time we got to Merritt at 9am it was approaching 30 Celsius. Ouch! At 11am we arrived at Coldwater and the base of Larson Hill; a long steep climb and at a temperature someone said, was 40 degrees. I don’t know but it was hot!

Two hours later we started down the main hill at the Coquihalla Summit with the police stopping all traffic for us as we descended; amazing and fast. 35 km downhill to Hope and like riding into a blast furnace with a nasty headwind that required us to peddle downhill for the last 10k. Now that’s unfair!

We had a 40min rest at Hope, 250k done and now 35 degrees. Most stops are exactly 10 min; just enough time to eat, refill your bottles and use the porta potties. The trick to endurance cycling is to drink lots, use electrolytes to replace salt and mineral loss and eat enough to keep fueled. The problem is, although you likely burn 10000 calories you really don’t feel hungry while you ride. By Hope I was running low on reserves and feeling the effects of the heat. I ate and drank, applied more sunscreen and got back on the bike! Only six more hours to go riding directly into the sun!

By Agassiz we were all feeling the heat and the attrition rate was high. Many riders needed to be shuttled forward as they needed a break and the support of the volunteers was simply amazing with their looking after all the things the riders needed to move forward and cheering us on, all the way! Check out the Facebook page and the R2S website for great coverage!)

A very steep hill just outside of Deroche hit us hard with the added benefit of hordes of mosquitos. I looked at a fellow next to me as we climbed and saw hundreds of mosquitos on him. I seemed to only have a few but by the next day discovered I had well over 150 bites; all in a 10min climb, and just because we weren’t dealing with enough that day! I remembered at that point that the Ride 2 Surviveis to reflect on a day in the life of a cancer patient enduring treatment; it’s hard and you don’t get to quit.

It was precisely that thought that kept me going at the Maple Ridge stop; 350K done and I was done too! Overheated, feeling sick and hating my bike. I got back on because I knew it was the last leg and my friend Doug who was in his fifth round of chemo that week had no choice.

50k to go and the sun was setting! As darkness settled in, the energy started to return and the motivation to finish was huge. I think most of us were feeling better; the riders who had taken advantage of some support breaks had rejoined us and we all finished together; a truly amazing experience (400km, 12000 feet of climbing, done in one day to raise funds for cancer research)

Hundreds of supporters, the Delta Pipe Band, Police and Firetruck sirens all greeted us; a very emotional and welcome finish. My wife Margo and my kids and some friends were all there with hand painted t-shirts shouting encouragement.

Simply outstanding.
Thank you all again and I will be back for R2S 2018!

David Peerless 

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I sent out a final email to my Ride2Survive list. Here it is:




Almost everybody I talk with asks me how the Ride2Survbive went now that the 2017 is now in the history books. So it seems appropriate that I send a wrap-up email.

 What a fantastic day it was.  Here are just 10 of the things that make it an experience to remember (in no particular order):

  • - The incredible heat…the hottest day of the year. Temperatures soared to as much as 36. The water crew set up a make-shift shower to hose down the riders as they rode into the stops. (There were 11 stops, most for 10 minutes, two for 45 minute meal breaks).
  • - To see 100 bike riders in a line is a pretty impressive sight. A man and woman pulled in to the rest stop where we, the support crew, were waiting for the riders, and donated a $20 bill. They had just seen the riders slowly grind their way up to the Pennask Summit outside of Kelowna.
  • - The weird outfits Charles wore. It’s just one of the things that makes the Ride2Survive what it is. (All those marks on his legs? They are not tattoos. They are the names of all his family, friends and aquaintenances who have succumbed to cancer, written with felt pens before the ride. Many of the riders do that. They are the reason they do this crazy ride.
  • - Riders are on their bikes and moving at 0330 Saturday morning. The energy even at that time of the morning is palpable. There is an enthusiasm and feeling of anticipation in the air. And a feeling of comradery not to be missed.
  • - I was in the restaurant by 0230 when a rider came in and gave me a big hug (they are a gregarious bunch, the riders). I thanked him and told him that was the first time I had ever been hugged at 3 o’clock in the morning by a man!
  • - The speeds reached by the riders was amazing. The average speed for the entire ride was 25.5 km per hour, and that includes those huge hills. Awesome! On one relatively flat 2 km. section just west of Mission, some riders averaged 44.3 km. per hour and on one downhill run, speeds reached 88 km per hour. It was the fastest Ride2Survive ever and riders all posted as many as 45 achievements, 2nd and 3rd Bests and numerous Personal Records.
  • - I partnered with John Hubbard, whose son also participated in the ride. For some reason, riders and other crew members called us “adorable”. I, for the life me, can’t figure out why unless it’s because of our white hair.
  • - The feeling of family and community is unforgettable. The whole group is so friendly, supportive and inclusive. Crew is considered every bit a part of the ride. It’s a wonderful feeling!
  • - The finale is exhilarating. To see over 100 riders turn the corner into the parking lot in Delta is an experience not to be missed. There must have been at least 250 family members and friends of the riders gathered. The Delta Pipe Band piped the riders in and the whole parking lot erupted into wild cheers and applause. It is very emotional. But as Frank pointed out to me, if you think the crowd is emotional, think of how the riders feel.
  • - Just one more…the tremendous organization and effort put the whole R2S. There are many, many moving parts and innumerable decisions have to be made along the way.  But the whole thing came together beautifully.
  • - 2017 was a record year…over $638,000 raised this year, 100% of which goes into cancer research.
 

Thank you for your support. And guess what? I just signed up to crew on the 2018 ride.

Fred 

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