Here I am. In less than 12 hours I’ll be awake, and getting ready to ride my bike down to Allen Gardens (That’s where our departure is from) and meeting up with a couple hundred other cyclists, and then at 9am, that’s it. At 9am we get on our bikes, and with a whoop and cry that sounds like fear and excitement all together, off we go. More than a hundred kilometres later, we stop, put up our tents and camp for the first night. We’ll be strangers, mostly, that first night. Jen and I have tried to get to know our team ahead of time, but there’s many people we’ll really get to know tomorrow, and by the end of the week, we’ll be a little travelling family. It always happens, and it’s one of the greatest rewards the rally has to offer.
It’s excellent that the rally has rewards like that, because it offers up plenty of challenges. I’m sure many of you have imagined what it might be like to do something like this. It’s staggering. The sweat, the tears, the exhaustion – camping in the rain, riding 660km, bathing in the lake… it is all balanced in the end with love, and generosity, and kindness.
In these hours before we leave, it’s that love, and generosity and kindness that I want to write about. I know I’ve said it before, and I really mean this: Riding your bike to Montreal does nothing to help sick people. Nothing. You could do it a hundred times, and without the support of people like all of you who donated, it wouldn’t change one little thing about the world, or the way it can be for people who are suffering. It is what all of you have done – your generosity, that turns the action we’re all undertaking into real change. Real kindness. Real love. So here’s what we’d all like to say to you.
A little note about Sam, before we ride off into this adventure. We’re all heartbroken, and none of us more so than Sam, that she won’t be with us when we leave tomorrow. She’s been ill, and we were hoping that what ails her would clear up in time for her to join us, but in the last 24 hours we’ve realized it’s just not going to happen, and there’s just no way that you can do this if you’re not healthy. A sadder girl cannot be found, and we’ll miss her desperately. She’s very grateful to everyone who pledged to her, and please know the money still goes right to the people who need it. We’ve all told her that she tried, and that’s what counts. I know you’ll agree.
I guess this is it. My yarn containment system is strapped to the bike, more knitting got packed today into the bins we’ll meet up with every night, and I’ll do my best to stay in touch as we go along. I don’t know if I’ll be able to post here, but you can always follow me on Instagram, and Twitter – and it’s fast and easy to post there, as long as my batteries last!
We’re all happy, and scared… and ready. We’ll see you soon. You can keep making donations as much as it suits you – and I’ve got a boatload of gifts to give away when I get back. You can give to anyone on our team here, and I hope we inspire you. (I’m still aiming to meet last years goal of $50 000, and a few people down at the bottom haven’t made their minimum of $2500, I don’t think they know many knitters.)
Thanks for everything. You’re all fantastic, and you never, ever cease to amaze me.
I think I love you.
PS, I totally finished the socks.