National Kids Cancer Ride

Day 5: It’s not about the bike

Today was a mostly flat roll through the prairies – and finally a glimpse of blue sky after a few days in the smoke.  

Grain elevators and hay bales, old farmhouses and the occasional cow were the visual entertainment for today. 

My mind was on the road and wheels in front of me – but also about how important it is to remember that even though we are cycling across the country, this adventure has very little to do with the actual cycling bit.  

Yes – a cycling event that is not about cycling.  

The why has nothing to do with the kilometres we ride.  

The why has nothing to do with our average speed, or the meters we climb. 

This event is about kids who have and have had cancer. It’s about their parents, siblings, friends, classmates and caregivers.   It’s about raising awareness about the fact that less than 3% of research funding in this country is directed towards children’s cancer programs.  It’s about the fact that in 30 years, 3 drugs have been developed for children and more than 20x that have been developed for adults.  It’s about hope.  It’s about celebrating kids gone too soon, and seeing the hope and potential in the kids who live. It’s about the tragedy of loss, and about the fact that for some people – cancer made them stronger, and created opportunities to grow and help others.  It is about bringing hope to families in the middle of this world of cancer.  

It’s not about the bike.  

It’s easy to get lost in the symphony of gear changes, chain whirring and wheels spinning and forget about the why.  Where are we going.  What are we doing.  What is next.  How many kilometres to the rest stop.  I need to … where is my …. when do we … 

I think it’s a good thing – on this ride or in life – to know and reflect on  your why.  It makes sure you are focused on the right things.  It’s easy to be distracted by all of the things we “have” to do – we make lists.  We create a schedule.  We get “things” done. 

I know how easy it is to fall into the stupor of routine without thinking about why we do any of these things — at home, at work, in life, and on this ride.  

I thought about my why’s a lot today – two of them are sitting in my RV right now in fact.  A father and a daughter, a parent and a survivor  both representing hope for so many families.  

So yes – I may write about what we saw, where we went, and what we did – but the important part of the day has nothing to do with any of that.  We are a red wave rolling through Canada with one purpose – to tell the story of how cancer affects so many children, and to enlist the help of others to change this story forever.  

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