Sunday, October 14, 2012

Charity Bike Ride. Ride For Refuge for Ratanak International

Yesterday, October 13, 2012,  myself and some friends along with 450 other riders were able to participate in a charity bike ride with Ride for Refuge Vancouver 2012.  Primarily riding for Ratanak International to raise funds and awareness for their child exploitation programs in Cambodia
Myself and my friend Matt decided that we would ride our tallbikes for the ride to gain some more and fun attention. We chose to ride the 50Km ride as there were choices for 11, 26, 50 and 100kms.  We figured that 50kms is just the perfect distance for our tallbikes.
51km route through the streets of Richmond, BC

The ride started early at 8:30am and it was wet...  REALLY WET!  Having had the longest dry spell in recorded history in the westcoast British Columbia, 3 months of no rain, the rains came back with a vengeance unleashing 3 weeks worth of rain in a span of 2 days!  As wet and cold as it was, everyone was all smiles and ready for the challenge.
Early stages of the ride.  Really great to see the tallbikes along with other bikes to  get a perspective on how high we really are above others!

This picture looks like myself and Matt are riding a tandem tallbike! lol!

Having ridden most of this route on my solo rides in the past, I knew how boring and monotonous this ride could be as it is very flat and you can be sitting at the saddle for hours.  Having torrential downpour and being quite cold through the ride could easily dissuade a rider to simply give up and head off to their comfortable and warm homes to sit in front of the tv and under their blankets.  Luckily, I was with a group of friends that really made the ride enjoyable and there was never a time that any of us considered packing it in. Yes, it was the wettest bike ride I've ever been on, but it was also one of the most fun.

This is our own very small group of 4.  Myself, Sharalee, Ian and Matt

Being quite isolated from the rest of the pack in this portion of the ride

Heading into a rest stop where food and refreshments were provided
Along with all the riders and the support crew and volunteers of the ride, we also had a wonderful cheering group that greeted us through various locations along the route of the ride.  Family members of my friends Ian and Sharalee, people who did not have to be there to stand in the rain, people who took their time to drive around in the early morning of a very wet day just to show their support for what we were doing.  These people made our ride even more special.

Our very own cheering section!  The Dalby's and the Bowker's, with the kids and dog and all!  Thanks Guys!  A special thank you goes to Sharisse Dalby who was never in these pictures because she was the one behind the camera the whole time.  Thanks for the great pictures Sharisse!

The Home Stretch!

Nearing the ride's end, the rain finally let off and by afternoon, the sun actually peeked out a little.  I was able to mount my camera on the bike and take a short video footage.  Here is a clip of our anti-climactic ride to the finish greeted by friends and family.

This was our first bike ride for charity.  As long as the charity ride is for a great cause and it is for something I believe in, I will definitely participate in more of these rides.  This was really a great event and had so many little things that made it quite memorable.  I hope the next one will be just as worthy and just as fun