We survived once again, safely and supported by the incredible team built by Kerry, Vicki, their family and friends who form the core of Ride2Survive.

Personally, as a second year rider, I found a transformation took place from last years desire to attempt this crazy event due to a very personal connection to cancer and its effects on friends and family, and an interest in the physical challenge R2S represents. Then, it was a matter of trying to train, raise funds and as an individual, have a successful ride.

While I saw the volunteers and coordination of the event and admired the efficiency of all that is R2S, I had no idea what really went on to ensure a successful and safe event.

Some time during this years training and fundraising effort, the lights went on. I now get it! The ride itself is an ad, a symbol of commitment for a group of people that have a very focused, very personal connection with doing something to beat this damn disease. The founders and the team that has come together for the riders, are a unique and powerfully focused group of people who have exactly the same motivation and goals.

We should all recognize the incredible efforts of every volunteer who feed, hydrate, secure, protect, organize and herd us to our goal!.The ride and training captains were as always, amazing. They support, teach and then take the brunt of any adverse conditions we might find on the road. Without their hurculean effort we may not have the same success year after year. This year the effort at the front was truly amazing in blocking all that wind! In their spare time, they are up and down the line encouraging and training us to be safe and more efficient in group riding; incredible!

Kerry's email about fundraising truly hit home and the efforts by everyone showed as we quickly exceeded our team goal.

Goals are meant to be broken so keep at it, people want to support R2S, we just have to ask!

I am lucky to be part of this family, and year two has added clarity to understanding the reality of R2S!

See you next year; the training has begun.

David Peerless

 

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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!

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Hey everyone,

A thought or question I was thinking abour for all the 1st timers this year, whether as a rider or part of the crew.

Last year was my first year participating in the R2S. I was invited by Tom Devlin (thank you Tom) and said sure I would do this with him. If you recall, I'm the 10yr brain cancer survivor guy. Anything to help with cancer research and I'm in. I can honestly say that I said yes without thinking about what I had agreed too lol. 

I went through 3 stages last year. 

At first, I just felt like an INDIVIDUAL PERSON joining this cancer research event. I wasn't very involved with much of the pre-ride 'stuff '.

During the night before meeting Kelowna, it hit me that we were more than a group of individual people, we were in fact a TEAM of people with the same goal of cancer research, ridding the world of this horrible disease.

At some point during the ride, watching all us do our 'jobs' with such precision it hit me, and hit me hard. We are a FAMILY unlike any I've ever been a part of. When I felt tired and was ready to stop, watching everyone else work their hardest, brought a smile to my face, a renwed energy and a sense of pride to help finish what we started. 

So, I'm curious to know in all homesty if anyone felt the same way this year. That progression of feeeling that I went through.

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In no particular order-

  1. Sitting out the Hope descent and watching the support crew set up for dinner. Dang, these volunteers work hard, and I firmly believe every rider should sit a leg out and watch what the other half of the team does.
  2. Sitting out the Hope descent, knowing I would need strong legs for the windy journey home from Hope. Riding in the motorhome with June and Al into Hope, recapping our day to that point.
  3. Sitting out the Hope descent and seeing the magnificent Amerjit Dhadwar by himself, on the side of the highway, picking up debris off the road so that the riders would have no obstacles in their way on their descent. Even writing this brings me tears. This man cares so much about us. Selfless, funny, strong. He is our Grand Pooba, our Godfather, our friend.
  4. Watching Katie Kunzli blossom in her sisters’ footsteps by managing the volunteers at the rest stops and taking control of the masses. You rocked it.
  5. Realizing 4 out of my 10 moments involved not being on my bike.
  6. Watching Vicki Kunzli work her magic with the whole team, especially the riders. This woman traveled backwards for 20 hours encouraging us, reminding us to drink, giving us inspiration, impressing us with her dance moves and instilling a YES YOU CAN mantra throughout the day.
  7. Watching my husband, Graham Street, rock this ride, taking a page from Kerry Kunzli’s book and continuously riding up and down the peloton talking and coaching riders. He had no voice by the end of it and I’m sure rode an extra 10km’s just doing that.
  8. Witnessing the growth in Michael Meade Jr. over the years. This ‘kid’ has blossomed into a young man with integrity, grit, and sense of humor. He was a strong ride captain this year and our youngest rider!!
  9. Wearing 2 pairs of shorts the last 150km home! This saved me!! Thanks for the idea Jenni.
  10. Being a part of the “Pick Six” Ride Captains who pacelined the front to fight the headwinds and get the team from Hope to Mission. Those km’s went by in a hearbeat, thanks to the dynamic duo of Gladys We and Vicki. Although I wasn’t thrilled to climb DeRoche Hill at Rich’s pace 😉
  11. Not part of ride day but THE POLE SIT the weekend previously. It was a huge fundraiser, raising over $26,000 for Cancer Research. Being up there with Rich and Graham was truly fun, even with the high winds! The team came together to shake cans on the ground, feed us, and make sure we had everything we needed up there. We were truly taken care of.

  Thank you to everyone who helped make 2018 another safe and memorable year.

Siobhan 

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