National Kids Cancer Ride

NKCR Day 16 of 18

NKCR Day 16 – Sept. 21
Moncton, NB to Charlottetown, PEI

Today we had a leisurely start to the day… wake up call at 6:00a so we could enjoy breakfast prepared by the Sears staff, but we didn’t have to be on the road until 8:30a as our first stop was at Riverview High School.

Breakfast included eggs, bacon, bagels, fruit, coffee, yogurt, bottled water and some homemade banana bread… everything you need to start a day of cycling. After breakfast, a few riders did some shopping in Sears, while others (including myself), went to get our bikes ready to roll.

I had a surprise visitor this morning – Nelson Ayotte, a member of the Cabela’s Pro Staff team. It was great to catch up with him, albeit briefly as I only noticed him after our morning dedication… Thanks for coming out Nelson!

Today we rode for for Sean, a 12 year old boy who lived everyday like it was the last day of school, happy and excited for the next. When he was born the paediatrician gave his parents the news that he had a heart condition – a murmur that was diagnosed as Sub-aortic stenosis.

When he was seven he had surgery to correct his condition and he became a hockey and soccer player. When he was 9, a bump appeared on his hand which continued to grow and was later diagnosed as cancer. He was given a tough protocol of surgeries, radiation and very toxic chemotherapy as well as blood transfusions and needles which he hated.

After 14 months he was cancer free and enjoyed being a kid again. About a year later his parents noticed another bump on his leg and the cancer was back. He battled it again and won again.

After a family trip to Australia and New Zealand scans revealed the cancer was back for a third time and the chances of beating it were nil and they chose to enjoy what time they had left. On July 9, 2007 he passed away peacefully and during his time here he had two successful bestselling books written about him (one of them is: Ten Needles). Sean is missed and will be remembered everyday.

Sean’s father, Chris Collins was present for the morning dedication and was also a speaker at our first stop of the day – at Riverview High School. One of our riders, Shelley Wood went to this school and the principal held a special assembly of all of the 1,100 students. The NKCR riders were front and centre and we were joined by Becca Schofield and Chloe – both of whom have faced cancer.

Becca and Chloe are very well known in the area and Becca is internationally known for her #Beccatoldmeto social media campaign to encourage people to do some random acts of kindness. She has been featured on Ellen and in New Brunswick, the third Saturday of every September is Becca Schofield Day. This past Saturday, there were 16,670 acts of kindness recorded and a box of hand-written notes were presented to Becca. She is truly an amazing young woman.

Chloe stole our hearts as she interacted with the riders, while skipping and dancing to some songs that Taylor was playing on her phone… Chloe is a cute bundle of energy, that has fought cancer and has come out victorious. Her enthusiasm for life is refreshing.

There were two donations received during the assembly one from the Moncton Fisher Cats (local baseball team) that donated $10 for each run scored ($1,600) and a local dragon boat team (organized by Chloe’s mother) also donated $1,600 to the National Kids Cancer Ride. Following the presentations, the students were able to come up and ask questions and interact with the riders… some of them, even made some impromptu donations before the riders headed out on the road again.

It was a powerful start to the day and as we rode out of the parking lot, Becca was front and centre and gave high fives to each of the riders as we left the school parking lot.

Today’s ride was one of the most challenging rides we have had – the riders faced headwinds and strong cross winds for the entire day. At one point Dale W. was riding in row 3 or 4 and commented that we should take a picture of us riding today as every rider was leaning significantly into the wind. Unfortunately, the wind was mixed with narrow or non-existent shoulders so we had to ride single file for most of the day. This prevented us from setting up a power-saving peloton to protect some of the riders.

We meandered from Moncton to Cap Pele Town Hall for lunch, where town council and a bunch of volunteers made a delicious chicken stew, fresh rolls and tasty desserts for all of us to enjoy. Their hospitality was over the top… rather than the typical buffet-style lunch, the riders were served by the volunteers. No sooner did you finish the basket of rolls or bowl of chicken stew, did the volunteers offer more… definitely impressed with this lunch stop!

From Cap Pele, we jumped onto the RV’s for the crossing of Confederation Bridge and the start of our island adventure on PEI. The winds continued and may have increased over the course of the day – it was a tough ride for the final push to Charlottetown. Mixed with the high winds, were some long and steep ascents, so it was a tough day in the saddle.

Luckily, we were able to play tourist from time to time and we stopped for a few photo opportunities along the way. At one stop, we were regrouping at the side of the road, when an Aquaterra water truck pulled up. The driver, Chris jumped out of the truck, and came over with a case of water for us. Now that is awesome island hospitality! It was definitely a nice surprise and it couldn’t have come at a better time…

Our riding day concluded after approx. 6 hours in the saddle, in Charlottetown at Sears, where the employees whipped up a tasty BBQ for the riders. The support of the Sears employees across the country has been incredible…

Just before dinner, I was met by my dad, his wife Patty and a couple of friends from University (Dale and Nin). It was great to see all of them and I wish our stay could have been a little longer… Patty whipped up some amazing brownies and I reluctantly shared them with the other riders… ha

After things wrapped up at Sears, we were off to GoodLife to freshen up – what a great facility and staff they have… I may have to sign up for a membership when I get back to Winnipeg…

Now we are on the RV shuttle to New Glasgow, NS for the start of our second last day of riding…

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NEW Day 14:
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