Ride2Survive Report from Ben
Here’s a message from Ben Hsu about his recent Ride2Survive ride – a 400km, one day cycling trip from Kelowna, BC to Delta BC.
Wow, what a day, but first & foremost, I’d like to thank all those have supported me for the ride this year, it was by far the toughest thing I’ve ever attempted to date, it was such a humbling experience, to share the same goal with 94 riders to kick cancer’s butt, none of the rider are surgeons, doctors or oncologists, we all feel helpless when it comes to doing our part, the ride was such a great outlet for us to feel that we are doing something to make a difference.
The day started with a wake up call at 2:15am, we were shuttled to the starting line at 3:15am, where we got our bikes, gear and ourselves ready, we departed Kelowna at 4am sharp. From there, we started climbing to Westbank then to the bottom of the Okanogan connector, where we climbed 54km & nearly 6000 vertical feet to reach Pennask summit, if you’ve driven this piece of hiway, you’ll know the grade on this road does not else up until near the top, with altitude combined, it was challenging with the lesser amount of oxygen present. The decent into Merritt saw top speed of 87kmh. After a brief lunch at 10am (we started at 4am remember?), we departed Merritt via Cold water road, which consist of rolling hills which lasted about 30km. Cold water road meets hiway 5 which is at the bottom of Larson hill, the climb up Larson hill was tough, by now it was mid day, the sun was out and it was very warm. We stopped for a brief break at the top of the Coquihella where we met with a Police cruiser & two motor cycles from Delta, whom would escort us back into south Delta. We decented into Hope, by now it’s 4pm & we have gone 244km, this is one of the scheduled dinner breaks for 1/2 hour, I quickly ate my dinner, changed into a new set of bike cloths, socks, shoes & feel somewhat fresh, but my neck, shoulders and back has been quite painful for the last 50km or so. I guess the human body was not design to be in that position for this long. The wind had all in a sudden picked up, I predict it to be close to 30kmh from the west, which happened to be in the direction we were heading, the next 80kms seemed like forever, by now, we’ve been on the bike for almost 15hrs, my back, shoulder and neck pain had become unbearable, I just wanted to scream, oh, and the wind, we had to work so hard to keep moving forward, but this is not about me, it’s about doing something to beat this terrible disease which causes much worst pain to the patients and their families, with that in mind, I dug deep and pressed on. We made our last pitstop at Maple ridge, the time is around 9:30pm and it’s getting dark, only 30kms to go, we went over the Golden ears bridge and the incline felt like a mountain. By this time, we had the fire department with 2 fire trucks, 3 police cruisers, 2 black police surburbans, 3 police motorcycles, 1 ambulance and all our support vehicles escorting us, it looked like a presidential parade, cruised through all the red lights and stop signs, it was pretty cool, we had spectators in the last 5kms or so cheering us on, this is around 10:30pm & i found a surge of energy and forgotten about the pain for a while. On this last km, all the cancer survivers were asked to wear a special yellow jersey, there was 6 of them and they led the group through the last km to the finish. These survivers would not have been with us if they were diagnosed 20 years ago, with modern treatment and technology, not only that they have been given a second chance, they all completed the one of the most gruelling ride, which is very impressive. The ride ended at Caps southshore cycle just around 11pm.
I’ve attached a letter which was send to one of the riders name Dennis & the rest of the R2S group from Lance Armstrong. Dennis was diagnosed with lung cancer just over a year ago, he had half on one lung removed which limits his atheletic abilities, the fact that he finished this ride is truly inspiritional, he’s a true testiment that what we are doing is making a difference. I’ve recorded the ride on my garmin, check it on garmin connect : http://connect.garmin.com/activity/37625511
The donation line is still open, this is your last chance to be involved with this, with this ride 100% of the donation goes directly to the areas of research by our choice, we paid our own way so your dollars goes to work for the cause. I did this ride for you, your family, your friends & my family. Please help me kick cancer’s ass by making a donation. Here is the link again.
Again, hats off to all of you for your support, thank you for taking the time to read this.