National Kids Cancer Ride

Day 4 – Edmonton to Lloydminster – SOCIABLE!!!!

Teams are funny things.
Today was a new one for me. Riding out of Edmonton to the east. Apparently it’s flat (no it’s not – we did nearly 800 m climbing in the day), and we were aiming for 260 km, although we would need to schlep out to Saskatoon due to the huge, big day tomorrow. So we actually finished a little early, completing 230 km in all. But more about that tomorrow.
It’s interesting how the theme of the blog comes to you during the day – teams are funny things – there are books written about teams and team dynamics. but they’re all theory until you’re in one. And then the theory becomes practice. Often you never realize you’re in a team, or that teams also have teams too, and that teams form part of bigger groupings and so on…. That’s true today.
It started to hit home to me today when we were having our very early breakfast. We were joined by Dylan and Janet, from Edmonton. Actually they’re from PEI. I looked after Dylan when he was 2, in 2007, and diagnosed with acute leukaemia. We took him through 3.5 years of treatment, and now he’s in Grade 8, plays club football and is leading a normal life, but with a past. It took a team to look after him then – of nurses, doctors, pharmacists, child life, psychology, surgery, family brothers and sisters etc…. Actually it took 2 teams – one at the IWK in Halifax, and one at the local hospital in Charlottetown. Oh ant the one at school and everything else. Now he has a team looking after him into the future since he is at risk of long term side effects of his treatment. but that isn’t stopping him from being a normal kid. With a past. It was pretty intense seeing him again after such a time, and reuniting this bit of a team. You never forget.
ON the road today, we learned about how teams work in different ways. We’ve been on the road 3 days and have basically sussed each other out as to how we ride, but not yet together. There are the racers and pullers, the veteran NKCRs and the triathletes, and the newbies. We all come in with different ideas of how to ride this epic. So we set out today doing a single pace line – one behind the other. It’s good and you can go fast, but it’s still tough, and each person has to work hard all the time. There’s an alternative – the double pace line – 2 abreast. This is good for speed and wind, and we used it yesterday to fight the headwind. But you can use it for endurance, to give everyone a rest, while 2 people pull from the front. Pulling in all the different players to use this in this way was a bit of an experience. but we got there. Some complaints about the speed, but then they discovered the other advantages – SOCIABILITY. All of as sudden, we get to talk to our teammates and learn about each other as well as riding. We learn reasons, we learn history, we learn vulnerabilities and strengths. And we can sing too. And bitch about sore butts. Yup – that’s a problem. But we are more of a team today than yesterday.
We also learned that the volunteer crew team is different, as they have different roles and responsibilities. But we can’t do without them, and they can’t do without us. Today we realize that if we all pull together, rather than splitting tasks stuff gets done quicker, and we bond better. And 2 teams become one. And that’s a great thing!!!!
Riding is a very small part of this whole journey – it’s much more than that. Now you realize just what it takes to deal with cancer…

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