Sunday, 20 October 2013

Ride to Conquer Cancer - Sydney

Ride to Conquer Cancer Sydney is going to be that one ride in my cycling CV that will define me.

It was an event that I was really looking forward to. As with all of our RTCC events, the actual ride is the time where I get to enjoy the hard work I have put in to fund-raise and be there. It is my time to pay tribute to my Angels and Fighters and time to catch up with people who also come together to make a difference to the future of Cancer. And it is a time where I get to meet up with my team - The Vision Crusaders and we share in the experience of ticking off another ride in our dreams of completing the Grand Slam!

But 4 days before the event, my world changed. At 6:37pm on Monday October 7, I answered a call no-one wants to make and no-one wants to receive. It was my dad. He said "I'm really sorry Rebecca. Your mother has died"

6:37pm 07/10/2013.

Mum had gone to bed on Sunday night. She was tired from a busy weekend and fell into a deep sleep that she would never wake from. Aged 62 years. Too young to just go to sleep and never wake up.

Only 24 hours after this news, I would also learn that our Team Captain from Vision Crusaders was being hospitalised with Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia. This was news I could not even think about as I was afraid that too much devastating news would take it's toll on me. Klaus was going to be in good hands and had the whole team to rally around him. All I was capable of saying is that I would be there to ride for him in Sydney. 

So where did I find the strength to actually ride 200kms 4 days after losing my mum? (NB - it was only 160kms) Simple - from the people around me. From my family who reassured me it was OK to go and it is what Mum would have wanted. From my amazing network of friends who all supported my decision to continue to Ride to Conquer and encouraged me every step of the way. But mainly for my Angels families and Fighters who see me ride for them. It gives them the strength and determination to not quit their fight and provides hope that one day there will be a more positive future for those who have to face Cancer. People like Klaus!  

Deliberately, I am keeping this blog short (for my standards). Quite simply, I did what I had to do with RTCC Sydney. And most of it I did on auto pilot. The only significant difference is that I had my first big stack. Both Mav and I came off worse for wear, but some repairs to us both saw us soldier on for the event.

But how this ride will define me is that I did not give up or quit when things got tough. And I am positive it could not have been any harder on me! I was given many excuses to quit and walk away from this ride. But I didn't. Both Mav and I will carry scars from Sydney forever, but this is our reminder that we will overcome everything. 

There was one photo taken of me at the start line and for me it shows exactly how I was feeling.  
Photo Courtesy of Julie Leitch
This photo shows how much RTCC Sydney weighed on my shoulders. And it shows me trying to draw on everything just to get me through. 

And at the finish line, I let my emotions go! I did a great job at keeping them all bottled up over the whole weekend, but once it was over, it was time!  

Photo Courtesy of Julie Leitch

Photo Courtesy of Julie Leitch

If this ride is to define me, it will be my courage that got me through. And I find it interesting that I mentioned in my last blog,  "Many people who have displayed great courage have remained in history as heroes" 

I am not sure what I did was heroic, but the below message is a treasured photo that I will cherish forever! 

Thanks Carol xo
Massive thanks needs to go to the following people:

  • Jo Hall and every single Liv/giant lady!
  • Every single member of the Vision Crusaders including Julie Leitch for your support over the weekend
  • Special mention to Nicole for being there at night when I needed you. And to Dani who made me laugh!
  • To Norm Douglas and Jess Douglas. While the 3am sleep monsters were not after me, I was kept entertained with updates from Norm throughout the night with Jess' progress at WEMBO! Virtual cheering also became my distraction!
  • Everyone who sent messages in any form to help me out and give me the encouragement I needed.
  • To everyone for the hugs - especially Baxter who made a special trip to hug it out!

And to my family for giving me the space to do what I needed to do despite everything that was happening. I did it tough without you there, but I am sure it will make me stronger! And I did mum proud!!!


  1. That is really tough Bec and I don't know how I would handle that situation! you've shown you are a rubber girl and you'll just bounce back when life holds you down!! And Just remember you've always got a Crusader near by!! -Nicko

  2. You are one amazing, strong woman, who we love heaps xxx