Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Saddle up Ladies; Let's ride



The Bike Rally was a whole lot of everything - trying to do it justice is rendering me immobile so I'm going to do what hack writers do and publish snippets of my journal throughout the week, it was a week of extremes so buckle up.

Day One:Small hiccup
Today we started our bike ride to Montreal. My bike broke down 3 blocks in on Parliament street next to the graveyard causing us to be the last riders out of the core. I fixed it myself pretty fast and so feel pretty hardcore. The graveyard was a bit ominous.

The coup was a personal bike police escort to stop traffic until we caught up - in fact, they refused to leave us.
I was super lucky to have Steph as a riding partner and co-lead. Not many people can keep me from making stupid decisions so definitely (ehrm race the train...ehrm)

Day Two - After the Flood

Hey Mother Nature, what the actual fuck kind of storm was that last night? Nice try on drenching our tent too bad Steph and I are super uptight about prevention - jokes on you!
Also, nice attempt at intimidation - you forgot how mulish we both are in the face of a challenge. What's that?  No Coffee? No Problem. We brought our own kit!  NICE TRY FATES - also, coffee is the fastest way to make friends on the Rally.
10 degree weather though, that was a low blow - I can't believe that thoughts of hypothermia crossed my mind MULTIPLE TIMES IN JULY. Also, that 50 km headwind blowing rain into our faces for 4 hours? Nice touch but we weren't caving.

The voice of my spirit breaking at 40+ kms when we found out lunch was at 90 km as demonstrated by my youngest child. Thank the Fates we have the best team ever - our tent was set up when we arrived and Josh stocked the cooler WITH WINE AND BEER.

PS: Also, that small flask of Lagavulin in the pain bag? No regrets.

Day Three - Kingston or Red Dress Day

I had no idea that cycling could strain my armpits. I had no idea there were muscles there to strain. My legs feel nothing. Literally, I'm numb from my armpits down. At least I'm a smokin' hot broken babe in sequins because I'm pretty sure I am not going to make it to Montreal.

J and the girls met me in Kingston where Marlowe immediately got down to business. I can't lie. It was exhausting and life draining business but boy she evened out fast after a 15 minute snuggle.

When business was done I was ready to eat everything. I considered it preparation for Auntie Yvonne's 'Feed the Team' event; lunch(re: all the food), a bath (re: deep clawfoot tub soak) and a nap (re: food coma knockout)

Day 4: Chasing the Dragon

The sweet sweet release of a warm gentle sun and delicious tailwind with Advil every two hours - THIS IS WHAT CYCLING IS ABOUT. I'm totally signing up for 2015 TONIGHT. I love everything about the Bike Rally, it's the best! 

This is the best day ever. Tomorrow is going to be amazing - how could it not be?

Cherry on top of today? Best campsite and swim spot of the week after which our amazing team taught the whole rally a round for the talent show. Glampy Victory!
 Day 5 - In which the rains return

Fuck you Mother Nature. Honestly, this ends right after Steph, Sam, David, David, Pato are finished sweeping this bloody morning.

I think that Steph is contemplating cutting me. I wish she would, the sweet release of death might be warm. How did Matt and Matt handle Day 2? They must be dead inside it was so cold.
 
I wish it was warmer so we could enjoy the prettiest ride of the week without risking death by hypothermia or electrocution. Thank goodness there was a fire at break.
At least the weather cleared for the candle light vigil of the rally. This event is a really enormous undertaking, in every way and this is the night that we are reminded of the incredible work that the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation does to help folks every day - how all the fundraising and volunteering really changes lives in the long game. 

It is humbling to behold but it was also dry and almost warm too which was kind of the Fates.

Day 6: Ou est la poutine?

Oh my god we made it and there was not a single tornado. Our team is amazing - taking care of each other when they were injured, closing bins and tents when the rains came back, pitching tents and delivering gear, cheering, sticking together and helping out in any way possible - including providing beer, advil, voltaren, back rubs and comedy. So much comedy.
The best beer was this beer.
This year was a tough one and I am not sure I would have survived the cold long dark tea times of the soul with out my co-lead and fellow difficult Lady. As a co-lead I could not have asked for anyone better.  Whenever I needed to tag out she tagged in and vice versa - often without exchanging the tag. I don't think I've ever met anyone who can shake off a bad spell as quickly as Steph - it is amazing to behold and impossible to resist.

That lady's got game.

With Steph on my wing and the rest of the riders by my side this trip was exactly as I wanted - full of significant challenges conquered, fears faced and friends made. I am beginning to think I like a hard game for good cause.