The countdown has begun – the National Kids Cancer ride starts on September 3, 2017, a little less than one week from now. It’s time to finally begin the journey in earnest.
Throughout the year, there have been several phases. Beginning with making the decision to do the ride, the interview process and working with my family and manager and peers at Citrix to gain agreement and understanding of the sacrifices involved. Then came the start of fundraising, meetings, and beggining to train. Followed by more fundraising, spring training, fundraising, summer training, and getting prepared for the ride in terms of medical checks, waivers and packing/shipping things off to Vancouver. Oh, and did I mention fundraising? This culminated with riding at Tour for Kids Ontario (August 18-20) where I learned that with not enough sleep going in, returning from a speaking engagement at Citrix Servtech 2017 in Austin the night before, I could manage to string together 420 km of riding over three days. The legs are ready.
And now it’s time to begin the ride. I feel ready physically, but it is impossible to know how this will go emotionally. Throughout the 2,900+ Kilometers of the ride, we will meet with families and children who are dealing with Childhood Cancer. Each day will begin with a dedication for a child who is battling, or has battled, this terrible disease. Meeting the families and dealing with the emotions will probably be the hardest part of the ride, but at the same time, the most fulfilling, and will forever bring my fellow National Riders and I closer together. We will start the ride as friends, but finish as family as we further understand the reasons #whyweride.
So please join me as I cross the country, as my fellow riders and I share our experiences through blog posts. And most importantly, don’t forget that fundraising is not over. You can donate to this great case at snkcr.com/richmeesters throughout the ride and after. The need for money to combat Childhood Cancer in all it’s forms does not begin or end with this ride, but through it we hope to raise awareness and get your help in the battle.
Finally, I want to thank all who have gotten me this far: My wife Janet and my children Katerina and Galen, whithout their support I couldn’t have even begun this journey. My manager and co-workers at Citrix who have agreed to make the sacrifices necessary so that I can make this happen for the kids. Kris and Holly at Kamikaze bikes in Collingwood, Ontario, for their support in getting me ready for the ride, as well as the incredible donation of a bike to raffle off raising funds. And of course to all my friends and family who have helped through their generous donations. Without you, none of this would be possible.
Stay tuned, more to come as the journey officially begins September 3rd!