For Karin Piche, the first day of the Ride to Conquer Cancer was a physical struggle, while the second day was more of an emotional struggle.
Piche, the organizer of the Wheelin’ Warriors of the North team is this year’s bicycle ride to raise funds for the B.C. Cancer Foundation, said June 14, the first day, starting from Vancouver, was horrible.
“One of my friends said: ‘The rain was almost constant and the wind was incessant’. He was right, and the worst part was the wind kept changing as you rode from being a crosswind to being in your face.”
While Piche and the majority of the Wheelin’ Warriors stayed on the Classic Route for the ride to Seattle, a couple of others took the Challenge Route, which was longer and covered more backroads.
On Sunday, the weather was not the problem for Piche and others who rode last year. It was memories. During last year’s ride, teenaged Victoria rider was struck and killed by a car, moments before Piche and her team came by.
“I didn’t know if I could help,” Piche, who has a medical background, said at the time, “but as I was going by, another fellow came up fast on a bike, jumped off and started to do chest compression. I prayed it would lead to a different outcome.”
This year, the memories were still there.
“When we came to the territory where the young boy was killed last year, I had to work really hard to stay focused on what I was doing,” she said.
And then, it was on to the finish line in Seattle.
“All the riders on my team rode strong and finished. We had one rider who had never been on a bike before deciding to ride, and had never ridden further than 40 km at a time.
“But they all finished.”
She said one thing that kept her going through the wind and the rain and the memories was a simple reminder to herself.
“This is nothing, compared to what cancer patients and their families go through.”
The ride is over, but the chance to help isn’t. Donations can be made until Aug. 15 by going to www.conquercancer.ca/goto/wheelinwarriors2014.
Piche is already starting to plan for next year’s ride with the Wheelin’ Warriors of the North, and says the dates have changed, with the ride now set for Aug. 29 and 30, 2015.