So much of life rests outside of our control even if we chose not to acknowledge it. The illusion we all harbor from time to time is the current stage will last forever or that tomorrow will go according to plan. I guess it’s a built in defense mechanism. It’s just that life doesn’t work that way and we know it.
Two weeks ago I pedaled from Boston to Hyannis Port with 1500 riders in the annual Best Buddies Challenge on a glorious Saturday morning. The sun was warm, the temperature perfect for completing the century ride to the Cape. We had a spectacular day. After six months of training through foul and bitterly cold weather this day seemed a sweet reward.
However it also signaled a disappointing end to my shared dream of participating in this years 2014 Tour Divide. I had just returned from Vancouver the week prior after spending a few days with my mom who is battling lung cancer in a Burnaby hospital. The prognosis wasn’t good. I know many of my friends and supporters have been through similar experiences with their own families. I want to thank each and every one of you for your timely messages and prayers. In tough times it’s this network of friends and family that all of us lean on.
The decision whether to continue forward with the Tour Divide or not wasn’t really a decision at all. My mom needed her family by her side and that was all I needed to know. My race was over for this year. I shared the news with my two riding partners, Brad Crossley and Dan Gravelle. The three of us had just completed a two day 180 mile trail ride in northern Maine trying to fine tune our setups and flesh out the weak links in our TD preparation. It was an eye opening couple of days but a huge success as we all got a taste of what we were in for. Brad and Dan were naturally disappointed, but there wasn’t much to say. We all understood; they would push on with the TD challenge and I would tend to my mom. It was that simple.
Yesterday morning Brad and Dan set forth from the Banff Springs hotel and began pedaling south with 130 other riders. The 2014 TD was underway. It was a cold, wet send off with mid 40’s temperatures and showers. Still the pair managed to cover 90 miles on a what I can only imagine was a tough day one. For those who want to follow Brad and Dan’s progress, you can go to: http://www.tourdivide.org/leaderboard. I checked this morning and they’re back on course pedaling roughly 100 miles south of Banff. My thoughts are with them and I’m very confident that they’ll both arrive in Antelope Wells New Mexico next month.
Thanks go out to all the good friends, classmates, teammates and family who have generously reached out to me and supported my efforts these past six months. It’s been a journey in and of itself. I have no regrets. I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. I’ll be returning to Vancouver in the next few days to be with my mom and family. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.