I was one of the 2,000-plus participants in The Ride to Conquer Cancer [in August]. I was just busting with pride when we wheeled into Hope – my town!
Over the 225 kilometres we covered, there were countless cheerleaders at the roadside and at the end of driveways. Music blaring, clapping, posters of encouragement, bull horns and noise makers. All of it channelled into each rider and provided the energy needed to push on.
Never underestimate the value of cheering someone on. It can come at just the perfect moment and get you past a tough bit – the oil on your chain, the fuel for your legs.
One person, though, zung an arrow directly into my heart. It was on day two. We launched out in a bit of a drizzle and very shortly into the day’s route, a lone woman was standing on the sidewalk. She held a small piece of cardboard with a hand-lettered message. It thanked the riders and declared herself a 12-year survivor. She quietly, stoically faced the riders as we glided by. She likely is completely unaware of how profoundly she affected each and every one of us.
I will never forget that image. It is precisely the reason to take part in this amazing event. There wasn’t one person I spoke to about her presence that wasn’t moved beyond words.
To that woman, and the others with their very personal hand-lettered notes of gratitude, thank you for your message. You presented each of us with the most precious of gifts… a reason.
Hilary Kennedy, Hope
[Editor’s note: the Ride to Conquer Cancer took participants through the Fraser Valley]