Be The Ride! My Adventure Buddy and I just completed The Ride to Conquer Cancer cycling 219km from Toronto to Niagara Falls over 2 days. If you’re looking for an adventure that ties together an endurance challenge with giving back to a great cause, you must consider this one.
Every year in my 50’s I’ve taken on at least one new scary challenge. Last year I had so much fun tackling fears around cycling that it ended up getting my Adventure Buddy’s attention and he signed up for 2018. Getting out of my comfort zone introduced yet another new love to my arsenal of endurance challenges. I had so many fears to overcome from road bikes with shiny skinny wheels, group rides, cycling on roads (Toronto!), clipping my feet into pedals, falling off my bike (3 times then I GOT it!) as examples. This experience introduced me to many new fit friends, being part of a big corporate team and a new sport I love. In fact, I found out I’m a good cyclist and it got me on the podium of my very 1st duathlon last year.
The Ride to Conquer Cancer is really well organized and has lots of great corporate sponsors who support events from sign up in the Fall, contests, lovely group rides through the countryside and orientation in May. There are all kinds of challenges to help encourage your fundraising, refer new riders and train. I’ve been involved in many endurance events, from marathons to obstacle races and duathlon, and this is the BEST organized and supported journey so far. It is truly a great experience and you know how I am about ‘experiences over stuff’. I do have a ‘stuff’ weakness though and it’s gear, funny how I step up referrals and fundraising to get free arm warmers or a hat. Hey, you perform better when you look better 😉
I encourage you to consider this event for June 2019, here’s my advice:
Sign up with a team! Most corporate sponsors will take on friends of employees. Joining a good size team creates arms of inspiration around your journey and the event. Many large teams have participants or companies who kick in extras. My corporate experience with #TDpeloton has included VIP tent, additional training rides, cycle mentors, private club rides, cool team jersey’s, fundraising events and introduced an amazing group of new fit friends to my life.
Have fun with your fundraising You do need to raise a minimum of $2500 to be at the start line. This scares some away who think that’s harder than the training. I get it, asking others for money isn’t easy. My advice here is to flip your thinking around to ‘what a great cause!’. Who hasn’t been affected by cancer? Put the focus on the cause and you’ll find your way to raising money more readily, you might even become relentless and that’s a good thing. Becoming a relentless champion for funding research to find a cure for cancer makes you a hero in my books. There will always be the donors you expected to support you or even tell you they will donate, but don’t. To counter that, my experience is WAY more unexpected donors have inspired me with their stories and thanked me for my efforts. Focus on the karma affect of this journey and let it carry you right to the start line. The fundraising component actually amps up the accomplishment.
Train! Obvious, yes, but I’ve seen many not train and guess how their experience played out? I always look at endurance events as the reward. By the time you show up at the start line you’ve already done the hard work and now you get to enjoy the reward. If an event requires you to cycle 2 days in a row, your training should be increasingly longer rides 2 days in a row. I start with spin class in the winter to build cycling muscles, then outside for a few single rides as soon as our Canadian weather allows before I take on double ride weekends about 8 weeks before the actual event. Take the last week off, let your muscles recover so you’re ready to charge through the start gates.
Sleep in tent city 🙂 Some of you are laughing! You can sleep in a hotel or dorm room any day, when do you actually ‘get’ to sleep in a tent? Side by side with a whole community of equally minded fit fundraisers and have the birds wake you in the morning. Everyone is so tired the silence is shockingly quieter than our usual camping with the wind on the side of a mountain. Okay, so I know some of you won’t take me up on that but I had to try.
Over 11 years this one event has raised $194 million for cancer research. Huge kudos! What’s not talked about as much is how many people found their way to a healthier lifestyle because they took on this challenge. Be the change for others. Be the change for yourself.
I’m still high from hitting the finish line on Sunday. Will I be signing up for year 3? Let’s ask my Adventure Buddy after his butt heals 😉
#TDpeloton #RideToConquerCancer #RTCC #TheRideTO #BeEpic