Posts Tagged With: cancer

And the winner is…

The 2nd Annual Trivia Tourney was a good success once again, with over 70 participants who helped raise $1500 toward cancer research in BC.  The silent auction was a big hit; many thanks to our business sponsors who included Blackfin Pub, Colonial Countertops, Gordon Hearing Services, Home Depot, Ben Davies Financial Planning, Flip Flop Shops, Steve Williamson Photography, Tami Varney Massage, as well as a few individual donors.  Winner of the jelly bean draw was Mike Sutcliffe who submitted an amazingly accurate guess of 247 when the actual number of beans was 244.  Following five rounds of trivia, one of which was a speed round, we had three teams which rose to the top; the outright winners were Myra, Trevor, Theresa, Steph and Amy with a score of 52 out of a possible 70 correct answers.  Congratulations!  Last years winners provided strong competition, finishing in second.

Thanks again to all players – we appreciate your support.  Our ride is in mid-June but we’ll have some more updates before we depart.  See you next year!

PS..don’t forget – Boccé approaches…

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A trivial note…

As you know, the trivia tournament benefiting the Ride to Conquer Cancer is fast approaching (Saturday, March 19th).  Today, Lindsay Chung, intrepid reporter for the Comox Valley Record, published an article on the tourney.  You can read it here.  Our thanks to Lindsay for her support on this file – we really appreciate her getting behind our efforts.  Thank you to those who’ve donated thus far to our efforts; our team fund-raising is going along nicely and we appreciate those of you who’ve promoted our team to their friends and relatives.  To make a donation, please click here and search for our names.

We still have a room at the trivia tourney, so don’t hesitate to sign up.  Thanks again!

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Trivia update…

We’re just over two weeks away from the 2nd Annual Trivia Tourney.  We have quite a few teams lined up as well as some single/double entries.  The maximum size for a team is six players although most teams consist of just four.  This year, we are hoping to raise even more than last and we’re planning to have a liquor licence as well.  If you plan to have a few drinks, please make sure you have a safe way home!  Entry fee is $10 per head; for more details on the trivia tourney, please email me directly, call my office (339.5776), view an info PDF here or check the Facebook page here.

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Well, we’re off and riding. This year, Josée and I are entering the Ride to Conquer Cancer as TEAM FLIP FLOP SHOPS. Last year, we went in as individuals but this year we’ve cobbled together a team of friends, from soccer and hockey buddies to high school chums to family members! Right now we are sitting at seven members on our team and we’re looking for a few more. If interested, please click here to send us a note.

Last year, we managed to raise about $7000 and we thank those who supported us.  Our goals are more lofty this year and to help reach them we have a few events planned.  First off will be our 2nd Annual Trivia Tournament (time, date TBD) which will probably be in March.  Last year, we had fun at the tourney but I used the old version of Trivia so the questions were dated and too hard!  I will be revamping the question system this year, I promise!

We’ll have a few other events leading up the ride, which is June 18th and 19th from Vancouver to Seattle, about 260km.  For more information on the ride itself, please click here.  To view our respective mini-websites, please click Ben or Josée.

Thanks again for your support and encouragement and check back often for updates!

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2011 Resolutions? Read on…

Well, Christmas is over for another year and 2011 brings the promise of a fresh start to many things!  If you feel like starting a new project for 2011, a new challenge…read on!

Last June, Josée and I, along with about 2500 other riders, participated in the BC Cancer Society’s Ride to Conquer Cancer, a 260km bike ride from Surrey (Vancouver) to Redmond (just east of Seattle).  It was a tremendously inspiring experience.  With the unbelievable support of our family, friends and clients, we managed to raise around $7500.

So, that said, we are planning to do the ride again in June 2011.  This time, we are forming a team.  At present, we have one other person interested in joining us.   You don’t have to be a bike racer or an ironman; as long as you are keen, you can complete the ride!  Many of the riders last year were upwards of 50 with many in their 60s and 70s.  It is not a race so there is no pressure to perform; lots of rest stops and beautiful scenery help the miles to roll by.  Don’t think about why you can’t do it; think about why you can.  We’re going to form our team over the next few weeks then we’ll hold a few fund-raising events and work out on some training rides.

For some video of the 2010 event, please click here.  If you’re interested in joining our team and completing this great challenge, plus send one of us an email or give us a call.  I know you will enjoy the whole event – we certainly did!

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An epic experience…

250km left on the road, 250km left…knock one down, don’t look around…249km left on the road…

Well, I know the ol’ drinking song used ‘bottles of beer on the wall’ but I needed something to keep the mind on the task at hand, as the miles rolled by.  We made it, we rode just over 250km from Guildford Mall, Surrey to downtown Redmond, Washington.  Both Josée and I are proud of our accomplishment but this pride is far overshadowed by the experience of riding with so many people whose lives have been touched, directly or otherwise, by the scourge of cancer.

I won’t get into the nitty gritty details (well, maybe a little) of the actual ride but suffice it to say that it was extremely well organized, a mammoth task unto itself when one considers that there were over 2200 riders involved, nearly 400 crew volunteers and over 200 actual organizers.  Think of the logistics of transporting luggage, setting up tents, feeding, providing porta-potties (I’ve never seen so many), and arranging a smooth border crossing for this many people.

We started Saturday morning with a luggage check-in, breakfast and brief opening ceremonies.  Once the speeches were done, the cyclists were ‘released’ onto the road.  From the helicopters above, it must have looked like a swarm of army ants.  Due to the volume of riders, it took us a good 7-8 minutes from the official start for us to get out on the road.  The route, well sign posted and marshalled, was smooth and fairly flat.  We rode for nearly 15 km without a stop as police cars cleared intersections and motioned us through red lights.  Eventually we were out of south Surrey, into the farmland.  The pack of riders slimmed a little but at all times we were riding with a dozen riders strung both behind and ahead of us.  It took just under an hour for us to reach the border, at which we had our first pit stop, complete with massive buckets of fruit, granola bars, waffles accompanied by various sports drinks and water.  Each pit stop also had a mechanic section plus a first aid tent.  The border crossing was efficient and took us no time.  In fact, we were later informed that the entire 2500+ group of riders and crew crossed in under 1.50 hours.

Pitstops were plentiful, averaging about 25 km between stops.  Generally, we paused 10-15 minutes per stop, forcing ourselves to eat and drink even though we didn’t feel like doing so.  We pedaled through farm land, past Birch Bay and a number of small communities, which was a real treat as my normal route through Washington consists of 120km per hour on I-5.  It was a beautiful ride, fairly flat although we did encounter some headwinds.  Lunch was at a Washington State Park, around 90 km into our ride, and, unfortunately, once finished, we commenced climbing a five or six kilometre section of hill – very tiring!  From there it was flat riding, although a bit windy, to our camp, located in a nice town called Mt. Vernon.

Along the route and at every pit-stop were dozens of spectators, “cheerers” and well-wishers.  Many of them were ordinary folk, sitting in a lawn-chair with a coffee in hand as hundreds of us streamed by them.  Consistently, their ringing shout was “Thank you for riding”.  They appreciated what we were doing and their energy helped us to stay motivated during the odd moment when we (or I should say I) wondered what the hell I was doing on a hard bike saddle for so long (butt-balm anyone?).

The camp consisted of a covered area with a buffet-style meal section, drinks and desserts a-plenty and a stage for speeches and entertainment.  We could have booked a massage and there was a medical tent which housed a few banged up riders who looked like they’d had a run in with a rogue lawn-mower.  We quickly located our tent, grabbed our luggage from our colour-coded truck and headed off to the shower trucks.  This was an amazing set-up – 2300 riders had hot showers and our wait time was less than fifteen minutes.

Supper over, we listened to a band for awhile then had some speeches.  Some official with the BC Cancer Society informed us that as a group we had raised $9.20 million (up from $6.90 million last year) and the rider count had increased from about 1700 in 2009 to 2250 in 2010.  Needless to say, we were proud of the little bit we’d done – thank you again to all the people who donated to our fund-raising efforts.  The two keynote speakers were exceptional.  The first lost his son to brain cancer a few years ago (read about his team here) and spoke of how we must keep fighting in all facets of our life, as his son did whilst battling cancer.  The second, also a Dad, gave a talk about how his son developed brain cancer at age 3, recovered from it for a year or two but then it came back and he succumbed to it in late 2009.  He suggested that we can all play a role in beating cancer and that it doesn’t matter how small or seemingly insignificant the effort – it all adds up.  Both Josée and I felt these two speeches were the highlight of the weekend, although I must say that just the sheer fact that I completed it without dying is a big one for me!

Day two saw us up for breakfast, packing up our stuff and on the bikes by about 7:15.  We found ourselves next to Mike Gillis, GM of the Canucks, for five minutes so we had a chat about the upcoming draft picks.  Actually, we didn’t mention hockey at all as we figured he must get that all the time.  He was quite gracious with his time and said that this was his second time doing the ride and he would be back again in the future.

The first 80 or so kilometres were fantastic – riding through undulating farmland, through lush crop fields and alongside meandering rivers.  We averaged about 29km per hour over these first three or four sections.  As we sat down for lunch, it started to rain, a gentle shower at first, slowly developing into a nice November sou’-easter (minus the wind!).  Josée was getting cold so on we trudged but we quickly ran out of farmland and into hills, hills and more hills.  Around kilometre 108, we finally dropped out of the hills, to our final pit-stop and from there onward, we rode on a flat river walk, 15 km to the finish.

Our ride consisted of about 6 hours riding the first day, at an average speed of 22.6 kph.  The second was shorter, about 5 hours on the bike, at an average speed of 23.6 kph.  My maximum speed was about 51 kph.  For a complete fly-over of the 250km route, you can click here.

250 km ridden; 2500+ riders and crew, $9.2o million raised.  These numbers are staggering but are nothing compared to the battles fought by people who had cancer, who have cancer or who will have cancer.  The BC Cancer Society has a simple mission: To See Cancer Conquered In Our Lifetime.  We believe this will happen.  Thank you for your support and we look forward to doing it all over again in June 2011.

PS…We’ll be forming our 2011 team sometime in September.  If you are interested, please let us know.

Categories: Commentary, Family & Friends, General interest | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

And we’re off…

Well, by the time you read this, we (hopefully) will be on the ferry, heading toward Vancouver.  Our first step is to find the bike check in location, somewhere around Guildford Mall in Surrey.  Once located, we’ll drop off our bikes, providing they pass muster!  We have a few ID tags with names and numbers that must be displayed on the bikes at all times.  I’m hoping the tags have GPS markers in them to locate me as a I crawl bloodied and exhausted into a ditch around kilometre 87.

Check-in complete, we’ll visit MEC as we can always find something we need.  We’re up at 5am Saturday morning so Friday night should consist of a massive plate of pasta followed as much rest as is humanly possible.  The opening ceremonies are around 7am Saturday morning and we’ve been told we should be on the road by about 8am.  Our lunch stop (assuming I (a) am allowed across the border and (b) actually make it to the rest station) is around kilometre 60 or so.  I’ve been informed we can stop for as long as we like, provided we finish the remaining 40km before 7pm, as a sweep vehicle will pick up stragglers at that time.

With the first 100km under our belts (er..spandex cycling shorts – illegal in most jurisdictions for a late 30s male carrying an extra 20lbs), our pit stop for the night is in Mt. Vernon, Washington, where a tent city has been set up in one of the downtown parks.  We are provided a meal followed by entertainment if one is so inclined.  I can say with certainty I will participate in the meal; the entertainment…hmmm, well, I feel I shall be in the land of Nod at an early hour.

Sunday we are up with the birds, with a 100km route mapped out from Mt. Vernon to Redmond.  I hope they tell us where to stop because I just might have enough energy to hit Eureka, Oregon.  Maybe a short detour to Boeing might be in order; I think the mother ship is based in Redmond.  Anyway, upon successful completion of the ride, we catch a 6pm shuttle back to Vancouver where we hotel it again (yes, with ferries and hotels it is turning into an expensive charity ride!) Sunday night, back to Comox Monday morning.

Well, that is the update for now.  I daresay I will write more on Monday although I may be incoherent due to the overdose of painkillers and ibuprofen I most certainly will require!

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And the answer is…

Many thanks to the nearly 60 people who came to our trivia night this past Saturday.  I think most everyone had a good time and we managed to raise just over $1300!  We tried to keep the event well organized and I think we succeeded.  We also learned a few things about how to run a trivia event and will incorporate those suggestions into the 2011 edition!

Josée and I are very appreciative of the support we had, both emotionally and financially.  Right now, I think our tally for our Ride to Conquer Cancer fund-raising efforts is about $5400 and we’re really happy with this figure.  Last year, the 1700 riders managed to raise about $7 million for cancer research and hopefully this year we will smash this figure.

Thanks again and stay tuned for updates!

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A little inspiration…

Over the last few weeks, I’ve spoken to a few people who are a little unsure of what the Ride to Conquer Cancer consists.  If you’re unsure, please take two minutes to view the clip below; it should give you better understanding of what we are attempting to do.

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Progress Report (RTCC)

It’s two weeks since the last update and I’m pleased to say that we’ve almost doubled our donations, up from 9% to nearly 16% of our goal.  We’ve had quite a few people express that they are interested in donating as well so hopefully those expressions of goodwill will come to fruition in short order!  Thanks to those of you who have donated thus far and please keep spreading the word.  We’ve got another 3 months to hit our targets but I’d get there sooner than later!

We had a fun training ride earlier this week; dry but the wind was howling.  I don’t think I’ve ever ridden for an hour and been riding into the wind no matter what direction I went!

Thanks – have a great weekend! 

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