The morning can start early sometimes…
We sleep out of the back of an 18 wheeler, with wood bunk beds created from scratch to accommodate the riders… I have a top bunk, and instead of a ladder there is a tiny piece of 2×4 to use as a step… so you find yourself stepping on your step, straddling the isle to plant your foot on the step across from your bunk, heaving yourself up with the goal of a) not decapitating yourself with the clothes line you put up to place a privacy screen or b) falling and doing serious damage to yourself or some other poor unsuspecting soul down below. There was a moment I have truly been dreading for the last few nights, and that moment of truth arrived for me at 3am… to say I had to go “pee” was an understatement and I had two choices 1) explain to the rider below me that it rained last night and there was a hole in the roof and that it is indeed water that dropped down on him in the middle of the night or 2) face my fear of doing a face plant from 5 feet up in the middle of the night and royally embarrassing myself and scaring the crap of the other riders… I chose option 2 and with the dexterity of a hippo managed to successfully get down and eventually back up without making a complete ass of myself… Yah Omar!!! Sorry Rich, no rain showers for you buddy….
Our morning breakfast was hosted and prepared for by the good folks at the Suburu dealership…. man oh man the smell of the sausage and pancakes was so intoxicating I was chomping at the bit to dive in.
I had the honour and privilege of doing the morning dedication as it was for my daughter Jocelyn… at times like this, you try to have an idea of what you want to say but somehow when stifling the emotion that arises you wind up messing things up… it was ok I guess, and I can barely recall what I said so I’m hoping I did her justice for all she has had to go through, and all the courage and strength she has shown throughout her journey. She and the other kids like her are truly heroes, along with all the people who have devoted their time or life to support the eradication of Childhood Cancer… this includes the nurses and doctors we have worked with at the Oncology clinic and hospital unit, Christine McIvor with Kids Cancer Care for everything she has done to champion the cause and setup Camp Kindle, and the creators/coordinators/volunteers/riders of the Coast to Coast organization who are making a difference and ultimately saving lives in this battle. You are heroes, and will forever have the gratitude of my family and the others whom you have helped, and the gratitude of families who don’t even know they need help yet.
For riding, it was an amazing day in relatively “flat” terrain but my goodness the head and cross winds were nasty. The Team adapted, line up the “tank” riders in formation to block the wind for the group and we powered through. I was mildly annoyed that I got a flat tire and had to miss out on 9km of riding (yeah, yeah I know… it’s not a big deal but I still have a misguided notion that I have to be on the road for every inch of the ride.. I’ll get over it, and to be honest I think my butt appreciated the break).
Once again we witnessed the unconditional support and love from the communities that fed us at rest stops and lunch… the lunch stop was extra special as we were greeted by children holding up signs and cheering us in. We got to eat and talk with them, and it is a stark reminder of “why we ride”.
Corrie and David Dale arranged a super night of food at the local pub for dinner, and we are now shuttling to our next stop for sleep and to get ready for tomorrow.
Thanks for reading, and your support.