Years ago I signed on for several fund raising events for Heart and Stroke that involved a 29 people riding a big bike around a circuit.  This was back in the days when I actually rode a bike every night.   I did not enjoy the experience on the Big bike because the all the pedals were locked in and if your foot slipped off the pedals they kept turning so you bashed the back of your ankle trying to match on.  I remember lots of fun but painful.

So our good friend Marie was organizing a group from our alumni group (basically friends that have moved into the valley in the last few years) for the Big Bike Ride.  As I said, I did not have good memories of when I did this 25 years ago so Pat and I agreed to be emergency members of the crew.   We had just arrived back from Europe (a future blog) and we were told that one of us had to ride to complete the team.  I sacrificed myself.

The theme for the team was to dress as pirates.  I searched out a striped shirt, purchased a baggy white pair of pants that I could make into culottes, and high stockings.  With the bandanna head dress, a sash and sword, I was ready.  Apparently everyone else went to the Dollar store and bought a paper hat.  I was the most authentic pirate dressed but there was no prize for best costume.

Fortunately the new big bikes have pedals that coast i e if you stop pedaling like on a real bike, the pedals stop turning.  Much better than I remember.

So we set off with a crew that has an average age of 65.  A very heavy bike so not a lot of acceleration but  lots of enthusiasm.  Turns out the first part of the route was slightly uphill so by the time we made the Comox Hospital half the crew felt they needed to drop off for oxygen and heart operations.  The ride back to the start was much easier and everyone arrived alive.

This was a fund raiser where all the riders were supposed to solicit sponsors from their family and friends to complete the ride.  As I was a last minute addition to the crew we did not have time to hit on our family and friends for support.  Next year will be different as I will make sure Pat is also on the crew and I expect support from the family.

A good experience.  In the picture I am in the middle of the row with my buddy Harry on my right.