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A charity bike ride has changed my life :)

Archive for the tag “Ride to Conquer Cancer”

THE FINISH LINE – Some more great RTCC 2012 ‘In Action’ shots!

Some more RTCC 2012 shots …. this time courtesy of photographer Ron Sombilion – check out his gallery of the event here.

Ron captured me as I arrived at the finish line, and later when my friends doused me with champagne. A great moment!!

Copyright: Ron Sombilon

Copyright: Ron Sombilon

Copyright: Ron Sombilon

Copyright: Ron Sombilon

Copyright: Ron Sombilon

Copyright: Ron Sombilon

 

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Great RTCC 2012 ‘In Action’ Shots by Photographer Edwin Santiago

I distinctly remember Edwin Santiago taking photos during the Ride to Conquer Cancer 2012. He took some spectacular shots!!

I love the ones he took of me – don’t really have any ‘in action’ cycling shots of myself besides these.

Copyright: Edwin Santiago
This is on Day 2 – it’s nice and dry and I have started so late but I am so happy ūüôā

 

Copyright: Edwin Santiago
I often heard the “Follow the Pink Tutu” battle cry. These 2 riders liked my speed and were following me, but you can almost see my back wheel’s flat tire! We parted ways when I realized I had a flat and needed help.

 

Copyright: Edwin Santiago
Great shot ūüôā Love the movement in my garments. On tippy toes like ballerinas (although this is such bad technique!!)

If you’d like to see more images from the Ride to Conquer Cancer 2012 – check out Edwin’s portfolio from the event¬†here.¬†Beautiful work Edwin!!

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2012 Video

It has taken me an entire week to upload my RTCC 2012 video – but it is finally here!! I choose early 80s disco/soul music because it reminds me of my mom – she was diagnosed with breast cancer only a few weeks before the ride and we both love that style of music.

I wore my pink tutu the entire time I was on my bike and it was a huge hit – a lot of riders were complimenting me on it and asking me why I was wearing it – for my mom!! A few days after the ride my mom went to hospital for her mastectomy. The surgery was a success and she is back at home recuperating.

Thank you to all my friends, family, angels and saints who¬†prayed for her ūüôā

The entire RTCC experience was just amazing and I HIGHLY encourage anyone in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario or Quebec to sign up!

I was so scared that I’d fail but I have¬†the best¬†friends & family who supported me all the way – with donations, encouragement, training, etc!!

So here is my video – I hope you like it!!

I will be creating another post with the “lessons learned” for anyone who is thinking about doing this ride in the future. It’s always a good idea to speak to someone who has already done the ride to get the low-down on what to expect!!

Taking Chances – Ride to Conquer Cancer 2012 is complete!

I love this image. The line is attributed to Wayne Gretzky  Рthe famous CAD hockey player who every kid admired in the 80s/ early 90s.

I survived the Ride to Conquer Cancer this past weekend and I am feeling this slight ‘void’ feeling post-event. You know when you achieve a MASSIVE goal and suddenly you are feeling suspended/ in limbo and think NOW WHAT??

The first time I heard about this ride was in 2008 and I remember thinking how badly I wanted to¬†take part in¬†this event – but I couldn’t. I didn’t think I would be able to raise the $2500, since I had just moved to Vancouver and knew no one. I also didn’t think I’d be able¬†to train my body to be fit enough to ride that long of a distance.

Later on I came across people who were doing it – and I always thought of them as these super-cool, super-human, super-achievers…. I WISHED I could be like them and do it too. But it was too scary. I wasn’t ready.

When I FINALLY decided (and shook hands on it) to do the ride with my friend Jason¬†in Fall 2011, I was at the same time seriously doubting whether this was even possible. It was a little terrifying and there were moments throughout the months of training and fundraising when I thought I wouldn’t/ couldn’t/ shouldn’t¬†make it.

But I did. I was part of the amazing group of 3,011 riders who cycled to Seattle in the name of Cancer Research.

I am so happy & proud of myself for doing the RTCC 2012 this year – IT WAS SO WORTH IT!!

After all that adrenaline, endorphins, nerves, relief, pain, exhilaration, fatigue, amazement,¬†etc…. I feel as though I am going through an emotional withdrawal right now! I need to find a new challenge!! hehe

So my take-away thought for anyone reading this is: NEVER DOUBT WHAT YOU ARE CAPABLE OF!

Project Pink Tutu : A tribute for my mom who has Breast Cancer

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about my mom who was recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer….

Keeping tabs on how she’s doing , thinking of HOW exactly I can be of any help to her (and my dad) since I live so far away from home, and searching for a way to¬†SHOW my support.

Since I am cycling to Seattle to raise awareness for Cancer Research on June 16th, I thought it would be AMAZING if I could personalise my bike/ cycling gear for her! And then send her photos of the event.

But what should I do??! ¬†A photo of her attached to my helmet or jacket, or a pink ribbon on my cuff/ chest, or pink ribbons in my pigtails, or sowing the word MOM¬†with red yarn¬†red on my jersey sleeve…. I turned over a lot of different ideas in my head.

I wanted something BIGGER and BETTER and BOLDER – because she deserves it!!

The final result – tres magnifique. I hope my mom likes it!!

So I was super excited when I got home after my Saturday training ride & the idea popped into my head РI could wear a PINK Ballerina style tutu!!! EUREKA!!!

Inspired and energized by my sudden Eureka moment I pounced on my bed & powered up my Macbook to do some quick research.¬†¬†Primarily I was interested in¬†discovering how much adult tutus cost and where I can find a¬†nearby dance-specific ¬†retailer or online store that can ship product to my door in under a week…

Here’s what I discovered:

ONE: An inspiring & creative¬†initiative by photographer bob Carey¬†– The Tutu Project. Bob’s wife has battled Breast Cancer, so he takes photos of himself wearing a tutu to raise awareness. He’s also published a book of these images – with proceeds going directly towards Breast Cancer organizations including Cancer Care¬†and the¬† Beth Israel Dept of Integrative Medicine Fund.¬† The following is my favourite image of his.

TWO: That once again YouTube saves the day! I don’t need to BUY a tutu ….. I can go ahead and¬†MAKE one! It’s super simple!

I watched  this helpful video, took down some notes, stashed an inch tape in my purse, and quickly made my way to Dress Sew on West Hastings Street to buy fabric & ribbon.

There were a lot of different shades of pink tulle – hot pink, dark almost purple pink , pale almost white pink, etc. In the end (thanks to a suggestion from a guy who was buying material for his wizard costume), I settled on a dusty rose pink tulle + a sparkly baby pink organza that I¬†planned to use as an accent throughout the tutu (makes it more magical when you add some sparkle!)…

The method I used is exactly as was described in the video. I measured 25″ for the length of my tutu strips (folded in half that equates to a 12.5″ long tutu) – which is perfect for riding a bike. Not too long (don’t want it to get all snagged on my back wheel) – not too short (so it still looks like a skirt and not a fuzzy belt).

I worked on this till 3am during one of this week’s evenings, and then finalized it the following day … thank heavens for caffeine!

Nothing better than crafts after midnight!!

The reasons why I think a handmade pink tutu is the PERFECT tribute for my mom:

1. Pink – The symbolic colour for Breast Cancer. I like Pink. Pink tutus look pretty. An orange tutu would look nice too BUT A PINK ONE IS JUST PRETTIER! Period!

2. Size¬†& Visibility – ¬†I will definitely be noticable in my tutu. You’d easily miss a small ribbon, or sown-in MOM on my jersey – but you cannot miss my tutu!

3. Handmade – My mom made me a couple of skirts when I was younger. So I am honouring her skill, care and talent with my own creation for her. It’s like we share the same skill/talent – and I think that’ll be nice for her to see.

4. Childhood memories – My mom dreams of me as a kid whenever I feature in her dreams, and when I was little I had a pink ballerina themed room – so it fits the bill.

The sparkly ‘highlights’ – are so pretty ūüôā

I am so happy with the result. I CANNOT wait to wear this on the ride PROUDLY showing my mom I am thinking of her – and if it’s not too spoilt from all the rain and mud, I will frame it and hang it in my room¬†as a keepsake.

When I was making it I thought this is even better AND bigger than wearing a pink ribbon because the strips of material folded and tied and half resemble the typical pink ribbon symbol – and I have¬†scores & scores¬†of them. It’s a pink ribbon multiplier effect!

XOXOXOXOX LOVE YOU SO MUCH MOM!!!!! XOXOXOXOX

Rain Gear for the Ride – Check!

Yesterday I popped into MEC after work  to do some rain-gear shopping ahead of my EPIC Ride to Conquer Cancer 2012 event.

As mentioned in an earlier post – I have been keeping a close eye on the weather and I am sad to say dreadful June-uary has struck again. It will be raining on both days! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

But seriously….¬†it always rains a lot¬†in¬†June. It’s to be expected. I’d HIGHLY reccomend the¬†RTCC organizers to consider¬†moving the BC ride to July in upcoming years. ¬†

So this is what I bought!

Castelli Leggera Jacket $69

From all the water resistant (NOT 100% proof!) jackets I tried on Рthis one was the clear winner. The material felt the best. It has a little pouch to stuff the jacket into Рso  it folds down into nothing.

I like the super shiny interior that leads me to believe it is the most resistant to penetrating water from the jackets I tried. I also like the Italian- tailoring. Molto bello!  

What I wasn’t super keen on was that it is BLACK – and kinda reminded me of a garbage bag. Having said that – when I was trying it on my pink tutu later that evening, I have to say they looked pretty good together!! The black & pink colour combo always works well on me…. am a girly rocker-chick at heart.

MEC Cycling Shoe Covers $22

These are some decidedly unsexy shoe covers but they are CHEAP and that makes me happy because I doubt I will use them very often. In the future, if it is raining hard enough for me to need them I likely will do a rain check on outdoor cycling for the day!

Since the flap that comes down under the toe is partially hiding my cleat I will need to snip a U shaped hole in them so that I can clip in and out of my pedals with ease. All in all though – I am happy to have found these AND in my size. There were hordes of ppl looking at shoe covers at MEC when I was there – buying them for the RTCC 2012 no doubt!!

MEC Mont Royal Pants $65

So originally I wasn’t thinking of getting pants as well….

BUT when I peeled off my Castelli Cycling Pants on Monday evening after a good soaking from Dragon Boating practise,  I realised how water absorbent those pants really are, and decided some waterproof bottoms are a non-negotiable for me!

These pants are AWESOME. I put them on and decided I wanted them within 2 seconds. Great buy!

2 x MEC Mountain Logo Scotchlite Leg Bands $3.75 each

I bought two of these to firmly hold down my water resistant pants so that they do not snag on the chain (as has happened in the past with another pair of pants I own). I like their funky late 80s/ early 90s lightening bolt design.

SWAG Water Bottle $3

Sadly I destroyed my VanFondo bottle in the dishwasher…. so I bought a cheap and cheerful bright blue one to go with my super-blue bike. Perfect match!

So that is my shopping haul from MEC ahead of the big weekend. If you are doing the ride and do not have any rain-gear… YOU”RE A FOOL!!!

Ride to Conquer Cancer Training – Vancouver to White Rock

On Saturday June 2, 2012 my friends and I went for a cycling trip down to White Rock – a city literally a stone’s throw from the US border.

We prayed AND prayed for a clear day all week – and our prayers were answered! Although the skies were heavy with rain when we started – the clouds held out for as long as they could as we escaped Vancouver and Richmond to reach our sunny destination. ūüôā

Some facts:

Local pilots refer to White Rocks as ‘the hole in the sky’ – since the city¬†is often bright and sunny while the rest of the Lower Mainland is covered by a thick blanket of grey clouds.

The city is named for a distinctive large white boulder on its beach near the promenade, a glacial erratic that migrated south during the last glaciation. 19th-century sailors used it as a beacon.

One Native Indian legend¬†claims that the gigantic rock marks the landing spot of a stone that was¬†thrown across¬†Georgia Straight ¬†(i.e. the area with the¬†killer whale fin) ¬†by a young Indian chief in order to determine where his bride & he would move from Vancouver Island. Isn’t that cute? I like it!

Below is a play-by-play outline of the route we took…

By the time we reached Delta (which is beautiful BTW)… we felt like this trip was NEVER ENDING!! haha Man is White Rock ever far!

I’d love to explore more of the Southern Lower Mainland… one of my favourite parts of this trip was the Mud Bay area between Delta and White Rock.

That’s Jason panting… he was so tired from keeping us with us girls!!! ;p

There is nothing better than an ice-cold beer after a lonnnnng bike ride!!

And finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for… here’s the video I did about this ride. I was inspired by the vintage 1974 bike ride I had seen earlier that week – so I decided to give this video a vintage-feel. Hope you like it!

Bike to Work Week Video Contest

TravelSmart and Hub (previously VACC) are organizing a 2012 Bike to Work Week Video Contest.

Participants are asked to share a cycling tip for a chance to win a  $500 MEC gift card!

YES PLEASE!!!! I need to buy a bunch of stuff – tires, rain gear, etc before the ride and I would love a gift card!

So here’s my video entry…. talking about snacks!! haha

It’s a random draw, so no brownie points for originality…. but I figured it would be different to all the other entries… or at least I hope it will!

Train Ticket from SEA to VAN is booked!

Choooooo chooooooo!!!!

Just booked my one-way ticket from Seattle to Vancouver with Amtrak Cascades! The last time I caught this train was on my 27th birthday, when I went for a mini break to Seattle.

I remember I was so excited to visit Seattle that time and nervous that I’d miss my train that i didn’t bother to sleep the night before!!

This time around I will cycling to the city – hence the one way ticket back! And the ride back departs at 6:50pm so plenty of time to catch some ZZZZZs.

My friends Eka & Ed will be on the train with me as they’re heading down to Seattle to support my accomplishment at the finish line. ūüôā

The journey by train is spectacular – it’s right on the coast, so you see the most amazing scenary as you stretch back in your seat. Also – it has free wi-fi and a cafe to order food/ drinks¬†from.¬†WAY MORE¬†comfortable and relaxing than catching a Grey Hound¬† bus!

Team Tetra Tech Cycling Jerseys, Shorts & Arm Warmers have arrived :)

Our Ride to Conquer Cancer Team Kit (Jerseys, Shorts & Arm Warmers from Sugoi) arrived this week!!!

I’m stoked with final result! Our logos look great on the chosen design and the quality of the tailoring is outstanding. If any of you are considering ordering some team kits for a team sport РSugoi are the way to go. Just bear in mind that they have a 5 week lead time, so plan ahead!!

I did stock-taking as soon as I unboxed the shipment and organized all my team mates orders for them to collect. I have a weird affinity for stock-taking… it‚Äôs fun!

As soon as I got home I tried mine on to determine just how tight those M size shorts were….. and how transparent the white sections are! Verdict: fits me like a glove and practically naked!! haha

As avid cyclists already know, you‚Äôre not meant to wear any undies when you have your padded shorts on to minimize chafing. So far I‚Äôve always worn undies cause I just find it so weird not to (prude!) – but I guess I‚Äôll have to get used to going commando…

Will post some pics of myself actually wearing my team kit after my next ride!

Taking VPL (Visible Panty Line) to a whole new level!! haha

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