Friday, June 1, 2018

The Great Cycle Challenge

This month, fresh off of Bike to Work Month, I'm taking on the Great Cycle Challenge. The idea with this is that you sign up to ride a certain distance (you choose) in the month of June, and raise funds for research into childhood cancer. 

I knew about this event before, but this year I decided I was going to get in on it. This winter, my cousin's daughter, Ellie, was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She's thirteen. This is her: 

The four fingers up is because she just got out of chemo round #4. So far, the tumour's stable, which is good. She's got a lot of friends and family rooting for her. Things look hopeful. But she shouldn't have to go through this. 

Not being able to do much else to help (she and her family are in Chicago, for one thing) I signed on for the Great Cycle Challenge. Since I do an average of just under 500 km a month normally, what with getting around town, I went for 750 as a target. But going for 550 last month, for Bike to Work Month, was an eye opener. This is going to involve a hell of a lot of extra biking to shoehorn that extra 250 km into my life. 

But one thing leads to another. I signed up, and then a friend of mine decided to. Marna has been patiently training her dog, Bogart (who was supposed to be just a foster dog until the two of them fell in love) to run along with a bike, using a special leash that attaches to the back hub and clips into a harness with an attachment point on the back. She decided that the two of them should sign up, so she's only counting rides she does with him toward her goal.

We've done a few rides together, and there is a whole other post coming, here, about riding with a dog, how it's possible, and how much work is involved on the human's end. But in the meantime, here was a chance to hang out with Marna and Bogart and do good things into the bargain!

Thus, Team Hold My Beer was born. And I threw it out there: you could join us. Now there are five of us: Sarah, Chris, Marna, Bogart and me. We may also collect a friend's son, who's about seven and wants to get in on it.

Between us, we're hoping to ride 1,850 km, and raise $3,200 for cancer research.

You can support individual team members (it all goes toward our team total) or the team as a whole. You can pass along the word. You can just comment and cheer us on. Come find us on our page.

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