The day started off with breakfast at the RCMP Academy, and we said goodbye to fellow rider Shelly who will rejoin us in a few weeks time out east.
We had a special guest visit us for the dedication… Thomas is a Cancer survivor… but that wasn’t always going to be the case… with the help of new treatment options, he beat the “7%” chance of survival and as he said “you may never meet the children that you are helping, but know that you are and they thank you for everything you are doing”….This is “why we ride”.
Today was supposed to be a 200km day… forecast was to be windy and 90% chance of rain. Bravely, yet naively we packed out rain stuff knowing that to be prepared is a method to stave off the rain… needless to say, we were quickly humbled.
After about 10km of navigating the Regina streets to hit the highway we were reminded that the wind was not our friend… by 25km, the rain came down and we took a quick break to put on fenders are rain gear… by the 58km mark, the relentless wind and rain was taking its toll but we pushed on to the first rest stop… a visit to a local school to to meet children and share our journey and why we are doing it… I was still drenched and recovering from the ride as I stumbled in like something “the cat dragged in”… thank goodness some of the repeat riders took the lead to address the kids, and you could tell Dr. Stacey spends a lot of time with kids! I don’t recall how the question/ topic came up but towards the end of the session one of the children thought that Cancer was contagious… all I could think about was how fortunate Jocelyn was at the beginning of her journey to have a core group of friends, and a school that supported her… what would her journey been like if she had been shunned or teased? Surviving cancer is more than drugs…if you can’t feel loved and accepted by your peers, the mindset you need to help you on your journey won’t be there… I don’t blame the kids or anyone, it’s just a matter of education… and by us being there to say “if you know someone with cancer, it’s is not contagious and they need your love, compassion and support. Be their friends and show you care” then mission accomplished… thanks to Lynn for getting that message across.
We were shuttled about 14km outside of our next stop for lunch, another school to spread the word. We were given the option to stay or ride, and we rode!
There is a euphoria about being on the road in conditions that any sane person would look at you and say “stupid is as stupid does”… our team captain Paul relates quite well to ‘Lieutenant Dan’, even down to the loud cackle from the movie shouting ‘bring it on!’… well, it did, we got soaked, and it was as physically exhausting as any 200km ride but we had a blast! Overall I felt good and felt some semblance of redemption for my self-perceived misgivings of yesterday (and for those who really want to know, yes… my ass feels better so hopefully that continues to be the case…).
We arrived at the school, spoke and spread the word, and were greeted with an amazing lunch.
That was the end of our ride… the weather was getting too insane even for a group like ours, and safety prevailed… it’s not always about the kilometres, it’s about the message, and we nailed it!
Our final stop was dinner… 40 people were welcomed into the home of a former rider… they fed us, let us use their showers, and welcomed us as family… it has been an amazing day!
We are now shuttling to our final stop to organize, sleep, and gear up for tomorrow.
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