As a newbie to the crew for R2S, I have no idea what to expect out of this day/night.  All I know at this point, is that it is this spectacular event where all these people get together to ride 400kms in a single day, with a large support crew.  I also know by now from the emails and fb posts that this event is very involved by all the people.  Again, still really not knowing the power of this event.

I was unfortunately unable to make the meeting as I had previous commitments with my kids, so still not knowing or feeling the magnitude of R2S.  

All I knew at this point is that I was excited to be a part of the R2S event.

Throughout the night before meeting at caps, and the bis ride up, I was getting a little nervous about the ride.  Even though I was crew, I didn't want to mess up and so on.  I knew only about 3 or 4 people throughout all the people involved, and this was something so far out of my comfort zone for me, that nerves were getting me.  So I took a deep breath and knew all would be ok and carried on and dozed off on the bus ride up, knowing we were all in for a long ride home.... 


As I think about what this r2s team has accomplished in 14 years, I feel my heart grow, tears well up in my eyes, and a lump in my throat. 

My head is a Rolodex of names, faces, lost ones, survivors, riders, crew, supporters, donors, friends and strangers.

I have intense feelings, I am sensitive to it all and yes, I can even lose my cool. (For that I am sorry)

First, there are 2 people that have been part of r2s from that first ride, and whether they have ridden every year or not, they have been on the crew and stayed part of the team.   Thank you to Shawn Elliott and Kerry Kunzli for your continuous support and involvement for a full 14 years. 

Thank you Caps Southshore Cycle for your 14 years of ongoing support and for starting this crazy idea of a one day ride with 17 guys.  

The list is long, read on.

The list of a few stats from Ride day:

  • Water jugs - 39 (last year’s 45) 
  • Plus 200 - 500ml single serving water bottles
  • Flats on the road - 3 (LOL, how is that possible)
  • Head winds - yup you got that from the start 
  • Good riding temperatures (not to hot and not to cold)
  • No rain (we out rode it, if you could have seen what was behind you…yuck)
  • Cold foot baths starting at Coldwater road
  • Spare bikes used - 3 (due to major mechanical issues)
  • Lots of chain offs
  • Riders, notice how often no vehicles passed you on the roads (thank you to the police for closing down the roads)
  • No chain offs or crashes on Orthello road hill  (that’s a first)  Did you love the song “Another one bites the Dust”?
  • Mosquitos (hungry buggers)
  • Lasagna’s - 25 trays
  • Mac and Cheese - 25 trays
  • Fruit Salad - 3 x1.9 liter buckets
  • Banana’s - 5 cases (1 box was found uneaten)  Rich’s total on the bike 22, and Surinder Sahdra close behind at 17.
  • Record breaking crew pack ups at Agassiz and Mission food stops
  • 448 pieces of Sushi in Maple Ridge
  • Pizza’s at the Welcome In - 20 large + appetizers from the Cactus Club and left overs from the food trucks
  • the latest we’ve ever come in (11:50PM)

The list of what is done to make this all happen.

The months/weeks leading up to ride day:

  1. The making of the bead bracelets - 225 of them
  2. Doing the Swag Bags - 250 of them (for our supporters, crew and riders)
  3. Picking up the stuff to put into the SWAG bags
  4. The Graphic Teams (Erin G for the printed materials, water bottles, rider names and Jason for the Car wrap and t-shirts)  
  5. The fundraising Organizers for the pole sits - Ryan Beaumont, Rob Wright, Rich Gestle, Graham Street, Aileen Maas and Michelle Szulc plus all those that donated their time to help and shake the can.  
  6. The hotel group block of rooms
  7. Securing the Friday dinner and breakfast location and food
  8. The Surrey Honda Banquet - Nasir
  9. Bridges Brunch - the Kunzli family
  10. Picking up vehicles and trailers for ride day (and the Flex for every training ride)
  11. The website administration
  12. Registration and waiver paperwork
  13. The Logistic plan 
  14. The Operation plan
  15. The traffic plan
  16. The stop plan
  17. The food plan
  18. The package vehicle plan
  19. The insurance for every city, highway and municipality we ride thru
  20. The police plan
  21. The critical incident plan
  22. The transportation to Kelowna on the buses (or coming in from other parts of the province and out of province)
  23. The transportation for the bikes to Kelowna
  24. The security guard who watches the bikes overnight in Delta
  25. The t-shirt design 
  26. The printing of the t-shirts
  27. Ordering the rider numbers
  28. The Rider #85 flags
  29. The food prep teams prior to ride day
  30. The Delta send off crew who hand out the SWAG bags
  31. The food pick up and drop off teams prior to ride day
  32. The Friday night meeting
  33. The vehicle decals
  34. Raffle organization, raffle ticket on-line sales and accounting
  35. Securing the meeting room for Friday night (that just about didn’t happen 1/2hr before the meeting was to start)
  36. Organizing the food drop for Merritt and Hope to be heated up
  37. Putting the bikes back together
  38. Passing over the Talking Stick to the guardians for the year
For ride day, you had:
  • 1 lead DPD police car
  • 1 front DPD police car
  • 1 Pilot Truck
  • Inspiring and fun music
  • 18 ride captains 
  • 1 SAG control 
  • 4-5 SAG vehicles 
  • 1 rear DPD police car
  • 2 photography teams 
  • 1 social media person (r2s website, FB and twitter)
  • 4-5 Relay vehicles
  • 3 Mechanical vehicles
  • 2 gear vehicles 
  • 5 Food vehicles
  • The errand runner
  • 1 motorhome triage vehicle
  • 1 Garbage vehicles (yes, we take it all with us)
  • 6 cheering vehicles all along the highway
  • 4 support teams who did errands and helped at the stops 
  • 3 Delta Police + 1 Delta Reserve (this ride would not exist without their full support)
  • 3 Paramedics + 1 ambulance (this ride would not exist with their full support)
  • 10 RCMP motorcycle escorts (this ride would not exist with their full support)
  • You did one U-turn (never done before, but always a first)
  • New stop in Merritt at the school
  • Yellow Mile - survivors and those in the battle now
  • Delta Police Pipe Band at the finish
  • Delta Finish line crew to set up the Welcome IN, look after the ride day crew/riders and clean up
  • Delta PD and DPD reserves at the finish
  • Your family and friends who were there to greet you
The days/weeks after the ride:
  • Clean up team at the Kunzli’s
  • Breakfast made for the clean up team
  • Washing all the pots, dishes, and supplies
  • Re-organizing the bins and storing them back into our house
  • Taking all the left over food to the Downtown Eastside shelter
  • Returning vehicles
  • Thank you letters for over 200 supporters who make our ride day happen
  • Continued clean up for weeks after 

The list is long, and I think of the jobs to do through the months/weeks leading up to the ride, ride day, and following after the ride.  

It all magically comes together and then Poof it's done. 

Thank you to all those who do what they do to pull it all together.

Reflect on what you have been part of, share your story (send out an email, tell your friends, family and strangers, ask for one more donation) join the Ride2Survive Facebook group, send out your blog from the ride2survive website.    

Photos will be uploaded over the next few weeks on the website and via Facebook. 

The fundraising totals - $715,000 and growing.  (I encourage you to visit the Canadian Cancer Society donation fundraising site we have set up to watch the scrolling names and donations)

You have volunteered your time (and your families have supported you).  You made a donation of money and maybe put up a fundraising page, thank you.  You are part of the fight for cancer research projects which leads to treatments, and this is from the research dollars we raise.  

It IS 100% about what we are doing to change the outcomes of a cancer diagnosis.

Riders and Crew you did it!  Congratulations.  

What a day and one to go down in the books.

For the riders, you get to ride under police escort on highways you would maybe never do alone or in one day.  Stronger together.   Celebrate each pedal stroke you did and each kilometer.  Whether riding 1 leg, or all, celebrate what you did, not what you didn't do. 

We lost two of our r2s team in the year, one in the early part of the year, Maria, and one the day after the ride, Bruce.  They are not forgotten, our hearts are broken and they will be remembered as part of the r2s team forever.  My memory is strong and vivid.

How many will be diagnosed this year and next, and how many will we lose? That is my constant fear. 

Last, to my family, who without you it would not happen at all.  I do this for you and the sheer fear of knowing the we are not immune to getting what we are fighting for.  Kerry, Kelsy, Ryan, Aimee, Evan, Katie, JC, and Renée, for being my anchor, having my back and being involved as a family together.  

Until year 15…Vicki out


I am going to type multiple blogs instead of a gigantor one...

The reason I signed up for R2S 2018 was quite simple.  I was at the welcome in for the R2S 2017 to support my brother who for the first time ever,  was a crew member.  I had arrived at the welcome-in about 30nmins early.  People were gathering, and the DPD pipe band had been warming up / practicing and so on.  Soon after, 1 support vehicle rolls in, and another and another, police vehicles and then the riders.....

Well, through the cheering, clapping and tears of joy, excitement, proudeness (is that a word? It is today ??) I felt for these people I have never met, I knew from that moment on I needed to be a part of this.  So, I kept my eyes peeled for information on good ol' Facebook on when I could register to be part of the crew. From the moment I could register, I did.  I had no idea what I was signing up for, but knew I needed too. Mh brother of course had shared several stories and moments from his experience, but without being there, I really had no clue.



How many bananas can you eat in a day?

How many kilometeres can you ride your bike in a day?

I got a good idea of the answer to both of these questions on Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 (around 13 bananas and close to 400km). It was my first-ever Ride2Survive and the whole day is right up there in the list of best days of my life. When I signed up, I thought the day would be on my list of hardest days in my life, but honestly, it was so powerful, so deeply moving and so much pedalling, that 'hard' only crossed my mind a couple times (usually the last 10km before a rest stop). 

I'm from Edmonton, Alberta and a lot of people asked me if I knew what I was in for with the climbing and descending that the ride from Kelowna to Delta has en route. I trained inside all winter and joined the R2S team in Vancouver for one coffee ride when I was visiting my family who live there. Despite living relatively far away, I truly felt like part of the team on ride day and I felt pretty well prepared. 

Ride day also gave me a sense of how truly small the world is. I rode beside people who are fathers of kids I went to highscool with (looking at you Ray). I met people who knew my friends in Edmonton and Canmore (looking at you, Scott). I saw "The" Al McNabb who's son I went to Elemetary school with (Hi Kevin!). I connected with Nathalie who was riding for very similar reasons as me. AND I met many more amazing individuals. When you connect with this many people, it's bittersweet. You're grateful to meet them or see them again, but you also feel a little gutted that you're all here because of a devestating disease. 

When we stopped in Britton Creek, I wasn't sure I wanted to continue. I thought I needed to take a leg off. I wasn't my best self in that moment (a combination of overwhelmed and slightly hypoglycemic makes for a not a super fun to be around Briana) but something Kerry said to me earlier really stuck with me - "This ride is NOT about you" - it never was about me. It's about Cancer. It's about research and it's about community. I sucked it up got on my bike and did the thing I feared the most - going DOWN the hill. Remembering the reason 'why we ride' helped me get through the day. Despite being from 'flat' Edmonton, I was immensely prepared for the headwinds and crosswinds (because what we lack in hills we make up for in wind out here on the prairires). I also found that going UP the hills wasn't nearly as terrifying as going DOWN them. I actually cried after descending through the snowsheds - just some of many tears caused by a range of emotions that I experienced that day. 

Now that it's all over and I'm back home in Edmonton I feel immensely grateful and really quite small. Looking at the photos of our group and hearing that we've raised over $600,000 this year for the Cancer society makes me feel like a very tiny piece of a beautiful and complicated puzzle. Thank you Vicki, Kerry, and the entire R2S team for making me feel welcome and for allowing me the privelage and honour of participating in this event. Let's keep fundraising, let's keep doing this - the cause really, really matters. It's immensely important.

Thank you and I'll be back.