Being involved in any way with the Ride2Survive, we all have some understanding and hope that we are having an impact somehow.  That impact can be funds for research advancements, inspiring healthy active living, inspiring others to give back....etc

Well here is a first hand impact that certainly brought tears to our eyes and inspires us as I'm sure it will inspire you! We had such a great training ride on Sunday and this email from someone we don't know was in our inbox before we got home from the ride....

Here is Tracy's email:

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I just passed your group while I was driving North on 216th Street in South Langley and I'm still moved to tears.  I was behind the group for quite some time waiting for a safe time to use the oncoming lane to pass and gave a few honks when I did eventually go by them, I hope they know that they were 100% supportive and thank you honks.  I was diagnosed Feb. 14 with breast cancer, I'm 44 years old, have been very happily with my husband for 23 years and we have 2 wonderful sons, ages 13 and 16.  To say this was the most devastating thing to happen to our family would be a complete understatement.  However, from the moment I found out, I've been nothing but determined that I will survive this and post diagnosis, everything has been going very well.  I had a lumpectomy just over 3 weeks ago, I had VERY clear margins as my surgeon happily told me and the 1 lymph node removed was clear, now I am waiting to go the Cancer Agency for the rest of my treatment.
     
So, I just had to say a very, very heartfelt thank you to all of you, please know how incredibly grateful I am to people like you.  Until you are in this situation you have no idea how much it touches your heart and completely moves you to see someone wearing a daffodil, or a pink ribbon OR riding bikes, it means the world!  THANK YOU!
     
Most Sincerely,
Tracy

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Saturday's ride over to the North Shore was an enlightening experience. It seemed like a regular training ride like many others: good distance (110 Km), great scenery rolling through Stanley Park, over the Lions Gate bridge, hugging the waterfront along North Vancouver and then climbing up from Deep Cove towards Indian Arm road. The plan was to do  a loop back on Indian Arm Road and then climb Mount Seymour Parkway up to the ski lodge. The weather was great: over cast, cool, little threat of rain. We had good group formation along most of the ride. I was managing to stay in the lead group for most of the way...and then...we turned up the road to Mount Seymour. Not much of a preamble, like Cypress. Just a corner and then up you go. Damon took the lead with a steady pace of about 10-11 Km/hr. He did warn us that the climb was going to be steeper and longer than Cypress. I thought, OK, I have been logging the hours every week doing my commuting from Richmond to Surrey, over the Alex Fraser and up Nordel Way 2 to 3 times per week. How hard could this be? Hard it was.

I managed to stay with the lead group for maybe a third of the way and then watched as they slowly left me behind and disappeared around a corner. Ray McF had slipped back earlier and so before long it was just the two of us. Steve F was just visible ahead and we couln't see anyone behind us. Just us and the sound of grouse thrumming in the forest. Ray and I chatted for a bit and then as we crept along, I felt my legs slowly start to fade. Ray was pulling away and there I was....thinking how simple it would be to just stop. How seductive it was. Just stop, give up, turn around and head down to the coffee shop at the bottom of the hill and wait for the group to come down. But.. I realized that stopping to rest would be alright. Just  to eat something, rest my legs and get back on the bike. Maybe I could catch up to Ray. So, I did that. Stopped, rested a few minutes and slowly dragged myself up the road to keep pace with Ray. I did that 3 more times, like a two man slinky. He was the leading edge and I was slowly moving back and forth trying so hard to keep going.

The effort reminded me of why I was there. Why we work so hard training for Ride Day. In order to gain strength hard work is required. Work to exhaustion. In my work as an oncologist, I see this kind of effort all the time. For example, chemotherapy is given in a cyclical fashion. Once every few weeks. A burst of treatment, a day or so of feeling awful, a steady downward descent and then the slow grinding climb back to near normal and then all over again. Just like a slinky: up and down or rather, down then up. As much as I try to understand what it would be like to have to go through treatment, I can never do that, until my time comes one day to take that road.  It takes a grim determination and courage to go through these treatments. Treatment can take months with patients' lives revolving around the cancer centre, suspending normal life for what seems like an eternity. Their courage involves not just the effort to deal with the effects of their cancer and treatment but also the courage to Rest...stay still for a while. There is no harm in stopping and regaining strength to get back on and keep going. There is a goal at the end of all that effort. For me on Saturday it just to get to the ski lodge. If I could do that, then the day would be worthwhile. I didn't have to be fast, I didn't have to do it non-stop, I just needed to get there so I could be with my R2S compadres. So I could rest up before the long descent and the ride home. Thanks for keeping me company Ray.

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The training plan is listed under:

 

"User menu"  "The Rider Guide"  "Training Plan and Mandatory rides"

 

Or, you can link to it right here:

 

http://www.ride2survive.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=63&Itemid=82

 

A few words about following it...

 

The training plan part of that document is an outline to be followed loosely as we all differ.  It provides sample ideas of what you COULD do.  As you can see, typically, Monday is shown as a recovery ride day (light spinning, NO hard work) and Tuesday is a full rest day.  Then Wednesday shows hill repeats (we should all be finding time for hill repeats)  Thursday is some other kind of workout, but NOT spinning or cycling, and Friday is again a rest day.

 

It often shows TWO long distance weekend rides on back to back days - and this can help build cycling endurance, (we'll all need that)  but you may or may not be ready for that just yet.  It is important to do a recovery ride the day after the last big ride of the week, and to have those off the bike days as well.

 

As Kerry suggested in the last meeting, if you are on the bike 3 times a week, for a good workout (not just idling along), with one of them being a LONG ride (several hours), you are probably getting stronger, if you do 4 times a week, it's even better.  3 times a week might be ~200km (2x 50 and 1x100), 4 times a week might be ~250-275+km (2x50, 1x100 & 1x75, say.)

 

Nobody can tell you exactly how many kms or hours per week are perfect for you.  What is important is that you challenge yourself on the hard workouts, push your boundaries to get stronger.  Make one of the rides a LONG ride, and GO EASY on your recovery ride.

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