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

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm Thankful For...

... a wonderfully successful season.

It's the night before Thanksgiving and I have finally been sending out my Thank-You cards to all those that contributed to my 100-mile bike-ride in June. That is why I am reflecting on my ride this Thanksgiving. It is foremost in my mind.

I am so thankful the fundraising exceeded my wildest expectations. After starting the season wondering if I could raise enough to reach the minimum ($3,800), the final total came in just short of $12,000. All I can say is "Wow!". Everyone's generosity just blew me away. Donations came in all sizes from little to large. I am sure my Mum would have been proud.

I have had several people ask me if I am still riding. I suspect they expect me to reply with excuses, but instead I can say "Yes, I am". Apart from a lull in June, partially due to a bad back and the need to recuperate from the 100-mile ride, I have been riding regularly. I have ridden Stunt Road again, and even tackled GMR (Glendora Mountain Road). I actually feel stronger now when climbing hills. What I do miss is the camaraderie of our weekly group training rides. I shall have to join a local bike club!

I rode with "Coach Andy" recently when we participated in the Solvang Prelude, a 100-kilometer (62-mile) organised bike ride.
Andy has a love of fine wines, so our group of 9 riders ended up visiting some wineries on route for a tasting or two. We had a lot of fun, but finished the ride at just 48 miles, (could have been the 5 wineries)! Ironically, the winery we finished the ride at (Rusack) was the one I took my Mum to, with the rest of the family, in February 2006 while she was in remission. It was nice to be there again, remembering the fun we had relaxing, chatting, and sipping wine under that big oak tree in the garden!

1 comment:

Cat said...

I'm really enjoying reading through your blog. I've just signed up for this year's TNT AMBBR event! My husband is a marathon coach for TNT, so I know what the events are like and can identify with the emotion you felt at yours. I wasn't even a participant at the time and I was overcome by it.

Glad you're still riding. Thanks for such a wonderful blog and for capturing all the details of your training for those of us who are coming along a year later to read!

My blog, just getting underway in earnest, is at

Take care!