A few weeks ago, I discussed my fundraising progress for the Ride to Conquer Cancer with Jeremy and Doug at Speed Theory and we agreed that it would be fun to do one of ST's hallmark group rides, the 10 before 10, with a little twist...for a $10 donation, with proceeds benefiting the Ride.
The 10 before 10 is very simple:
10 laps of Stanley Park, ridden before 10am.
Dark and minus one with windchill.
100 kilometers of riding.
1,000 meters of elevation.
For the uninitiated, this sounds a bit sadistic...not only in terms of the distance, not only because you have to ride Prospect Point hill ten times, but also because you have to be on the road damned early to get it done!
But I put this in perspective.
35 amazing people.
Nearly $900 raised for the BC Cancer Foundation.
Even though this week was the first week of spring, I was really nervous that the 6:15 am ride time coupled with unseasonably cool temperatures would be enough to ward off even the hardiest of riders. Yet, even despite a frosty (albeit dry) early morning start, the turnout was fantastic! In the pre-dawn darkness at the starting point at Second Beach, there were nearly 30 riders ready to go, bundled up in winter gear and full of (perhaps espresso-aided) enthusiasm. One rider (whom I've never met) happily came over in the darkness to hand me his donation - he had heard about the ride the night before at the pub and just thought it sounded crazy enough to join in.
The first "neutral" lap around the park was surreal - the pace line of riders was marked by dozens of blinky lights. As we rounded the point for the first time, dawn was breaking and the calm beauty of the park made a huge impression on me - it was an extraordinary moment to me and I did actually tear up a little (I blamed it on the cold weather of course). I was incredibly touched not only by the incredible outpouring of support for my cause, but by the camaraderie and friendship that the early morning was filled with.
The rest of the morning was a little different for everyone. Some raced, some chatted, some jumped in for a few laps. The stories were fun to hear after. Grossi, we did not lap you ("really?! seriously?! Oh, C'MON!!!) and we are glad you didn't go to Horseshoe Bay after all. Geoff, we know damn well you were trying to lap us...now that we understand this strategy you can be assured that next time it is game on. Don, thanks for your 200% improvement on last year. Gregg, I know you wanted to stop to go to the loo again and I admit I pretended not to hear you. :)
For every incredible person that came out on Saturday, thank you. Whatever your reasons were for riding, I am touched and moved by your support. It was a truly fantastic morning filled with so many things that light me up - friends, riding, sunshine and the stunning scenery of Stanley Park.
Thanks in particular to Jeremy, Doug and Murray at Speed Theory for getting up early and opening the shop to us (and for letting us inundate your shop after!), my "Oss-some" teammates at LifeSport and to the Leading Edge triathlon group.