The Reason I am Doing It.

It was my brother's idea at first, he told me he had looked into doing a sponsored bike ride in England. The idea was to raise money for leukemia research because our mother had been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 2005. Since I enjoy cycling, raising money for leukemia research while bike riding sounded perfect. An evening of "Googling" later, I had found Team In Training, a group that fund-raise with endurance sports for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I initially registered for the 2007 Lake Tahoe event, but had to drop out when it became aparent that Mum was losing her battle with leukemia. This year I am back and intent on raising $5000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The event I am training for is a 100-mile bike ride around Lake Tahoe on June 1st 2008. Because of the altitude (6,225ft.) and the distance, training is important. So, every Saturday for 5 months I will be getting up at 6:00 a.m. to join my team for training rides. There will be a lot of hills to climb!

So when the training gets tough, I look down at the top tube of my bike where I carry 2 names that inspire me to push on. The names are, my Mum – Ruth Davies, and my Aunt Meg, both of whom lost their lives to blood diseases. My Mum, as many of you already know, passed away last year from Leukemia (AML). I thank God for the 14 months of remission she had and the last vacation we spent together in February 2006. At the end of 2006, the leukemia returned and this time there was no stopping it. After wasting away, my mother died in April of 2007. Similarly, my Aunt Meg passed away in February of 1993 after an 11-year battle against Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. What these two women endured is infinitely more than any discomfort I feel during my training.

To make a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, go to: TNT Donate

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Week 6 - March 15, 2008 - Distance 42.97 miles.

Mid-week training: Just the 24-mile ride to work and back on Thursday. I did the ride to work in 50 mins (my fastest so far). But, I didn't stretch when I got to work and my right leg, behind my knee, bothered me all the way home.

Saturday's Ride: What a beautiful day! It started out clear and chilly. Appropriately, our pre-ride clinic was on clothing. Apparently, even though it will be in June the Tahoe ride may start out in the low 30s Fahrenheit (just above 0 Celcius), so layers will be important. Arm warmers, and leg warmers (no! not the 1980's Flashdance kind) are very useful. As are the thin windbreaker cycling jackets, just like the one I bought last week!

Our ride took us along Mulholland Drive, a road I had driven many, many times before on car rallies and scenic drives. The views were breathtaking and the hills were... tiring. But, seriously it was an awesome ride. I felt good, even though I dropped back on the uphill sections, I caught up on the downhills. It must have something to do with the 26lbs of Japanese steel I am pedalling. I am kicking myself for not bringing my camera as the ride through the Santa Monica Mountains was gorgeous. I will have to add appropriate photos later.

The ride route took us out to Westlake Village before heading back to the start. At a little over halfway we had our first SAG (Support And Gear) stop, where Deborah (who was standing in for coach Andy) handed us water to refill our bottles before telling us to get going again!

Reflecting on this weeks ride, I realised that it is the furthest I have ridden a bicycle in approximately 28 years. Yes, I am sore and tired, but many thanks to Bill and Crystal for this evenings dinner, good conversation and wine. Now I am relaxed once more!

Fund-raising: You guys are awesome! Donations recieved now exceed 50% of my goal, I am now over half-way to my goal of raising $5000. This is an awesome feeling as it doesn't include the corporate matching gifts, (icing on the cake). This Tuesday is Recommitment Day, where I have to guarantee (with my credit card) that I will raise a minimum of $3800 by June. I am confident I will get there, but my personal goal is to raise over $5000.

To make a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, or to learn more go to TNT Donate