I will have ridden approximately 1,060 kilometres and raised a little north of $12,500 over the past five years at the end of this weekend — all to help conquer cancer in our lifetime. For my efforts I have been presented with a gold cycling helmet and a certificate of recognition beforehand.
To be sure, there are many other riders who have ridden more than me and have raised much more money than me, but these gifts of recognition have reminded me of my accomplishment, that I am participating in something much bigger than myself, and that everything we are doing contributes to a greater goal — even if it is just by riding a bicycle.
At the beginning of each ride there is a lone bicycle that makes its way through the crowd to the starting line — in silence, those who can no longer ride are honoured. In this silence I remember family and friends, and for the briefest of moments, there is a sense of being on hallowed ground.
Eventually the solemn nature of why we are there will be overcome by the energy of 5000 people who want to ride, and with the starting horn, my new helmet and I will make our way.