Sunday, June 2 – Ride for Heart
This year, our team had a new recruit. Juan expressed interest in cycling so we asked him if he’d like to join us. Turns out that he’s not only an enthusiastic rider, but he was our strongest fundraiser!
When our alarm went off at 6:00 am, I looked out the window and to my dismay, it was raining. Hubby checked the radar and told me that this was the last of the rain passing through for the next little while. That was good news so I bounded down the stairs and started preparing a nicoise salad for breakfast – tuna, hard boiled egg, peppers, cucumbers, romain lettuce and cherry tomatoes with seasoned olive oil and topped with deep fried onion – I figured it should sustain us for a while.
Juan showed up at 7:15 and by that time, the rain had stopped. We head out and we all met up at the Exhibition. Unlike last year, I saw a lot more accidents, but I am very happy to report that nobody on our team was involved in any accidents. We agreed to meet up at the turn point, which was York Mills. As we hit the Gardiner, the skies were clearing and it was getting brighter. It was turning out to be a beautiful day for a bike ride.
I have this tendency to want to ride faster when I am in a group. This year, hubby and I stuck together and he followed behind as I was riding on the tails of other no-nonsense riders. I may have hit one of my top speeds on the downhill at 53km/hr!
One memorable moment was when hubby, Juan and I stopped at Wynford on our way to York Mills. Our friend Karen was supposed to be on the bridge, but when we called, it sounded like she was still asleep. This was funny because it reminded me of the first time Nelson did the ride (it was before I cared to ride). When he woke up to go, I was still asleep. When he returned home, I was still asleep! Anyway, after a quick rest stop at York Mills, we had agreed to catch Karen on the way back. She managed to get some great photos from a different perspective – from the bridge.
A funny incident – a group of Chinese riders all decked out in matching clothes and $10,000 racing bikes rode by us when we were waiting on the shoulder. Nope, they were not whizzing by us. They were riding so slow, and talking soooo loud in Cantonese. We heard them before we saw them. But what was funny was that Karen heard them coming when she was on the bridge and quickly snapped a photo.
Although none of us got into any accidents, John did encounter a flat tire. Luckily it happened near a rest stop. Sonya told me that she saw John suddenly pull over towards the centre median, hopped over the median with his bike and froggered it over to the rest stop where they patched it up in no time.
The rain held off until we finished the ride. We had stopped at the finish to refuel on fruits and other snacks that were provided. Sonya and I took a short walk around the grounds and as we returned to the group, the guys tell us we have to go now because the rain was about to start. And start it did – within minutes, it was really coming down. But that did not dampen our spirits. Hubby and I have ridden in down pours before (not by choice).
To uncle, thank you again for taking the time to stop and take photos and videos to help us preserve the memories. Taking videos while riding is an impressive skill! In this next video, you will see hubby pointing. This was when he spotted Sonya on the shoulder, with her big, friendly smile, waving causally at us and telling us to carry on. She was waiting for John. This is where he encountered the flat.
Sonya and John, it is always a pleasure to ride with you guys. Man, you two have got strong legs! I still remember the burn as I unsuccessfully tried to catch you on the uphill Sonya. And I won’t forget when Nelson told me how fast a rider John is, nor will I forget the story of John ‘dropping the hammer’ to rid of the mountain biker in a tuck trying to catch him. Juan, I am so glad you had a fun time with us and I hope you will join us again next year. Karen, thank you for waking up early on a Sunday to cheer us on, and for bringing that fabulous lunch! And most importantly, we thank everyone that sponsored us. Your generous donations will go towards heart health research.
Team Hubba Hubba, we should be proud – we raised over $1,400!