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

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Week 14 - May 10th, 2008 - Distance 69.41 miles

Midweek Training: No Sunday ride this week. Yes, I know it is becoming a habit, but I get quite sore after Saturday. No Tuesday ride, it was too hard to fit it in. Thursday I rode to work and back adding in extra miles on the way home, and a couple of hills, for a total of 36.42 miles. Unfortunately, by the time I got to Greenacres (salivating, thinking about Tri-tip sandwiches) they had closed the BBQ. Bummer! So it was off home for a peanut butter 'n' banana sandwich.

Group Ride: Today we attended an organised ride, The 24th Annual Cruisin' the Conejo . There are five optional routes to ride ranging from a "full Century" ride down to a 21-mile shortcut option. Our team opts for the "Moderate Metric Century" a 68-mile ride. This is great practice for our event day at Tahoe. There are four fixed rest stops, with food and Porta-pottys, on route. The first few miles are heavily congested with, at times, around 30 riders waiting for a traffic-light to change. Later in the day the participants thin out and we settle into our own groove. From time to time we find ourselves riding with strangers, (or new friends depending how you look at it). We have to be a little more cautious when riding in a group with riders you are not familiar with, as they might just do something unpredictable.

During the first half of the ride, on a steep downhill section of Potrero, one of my teammates, Thai lost a water bottle. Fortunately, none of the following riders hit it. I was far enough back that I was able to stop and retrieve it for him. Later in the day, we passed a coyote and a rattlesnake, both of them were roadkill but in our bike lane! We ended the ride really pleased at our progress. We had done 69 miles in 5 hours and 21 minutes. While it isn't a blistering pace, it was good enough for us, and indicates that we should be able to get 100 miles done in less than nine hours.

This weekend was the first time I have used the "Chamois Butter" mentioned in previous posts. While it wasn't the cure-all magic elixir that I had hoped for, I think it probably did help.

The highlight of the day? The post-ride BBQ at the Bruckners' home. A great opportunity to unwind and relax. Judy and Megan got to meet many of my teammates too.

Fundraising: I have just sent out my second e-mail campaign for the season to thank all of you that have contributed. The success story of raising well over $6,250 couldn't have been done without you, no matter how far I ride! Thank you all.

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

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