Now we ride

Today was a wild thing. I thought yesterday was wild, with picking things up and dropping things off and trying to find other things, and I can’t tell you what a massive case of the screamin’ heebies it gives me to try and pack for an escapade like this. It’s not so hard, packing for 8 days away. I do it all the time, and I’m pretty good at it, but if you throw in cycling and camping, all of a sudden you need a bunch of things you don’t usually when you travel. (For example, I don’t usually pack everything for a week away into individual large ziplocks by day. For the Rally? Two words. “Rain” and “earwig”.)  This morning I got everything I needed for the week into one big hockey bag. My tent, my tarp, my sleeping bag, my clothes, my team stuff, my knitting (some of it) my flashlight… everything. I stuffed it all into the boot and I drove over to pick up Pato, and after I picked him up we came back here so I could get my camping chair. That’s not so bad, missing one thing, but it threw the whole system into question and I’ve been worried about what else I don’t have all day.  We scooted over and got Ken, and kept on going until we got to the wild and weird place that’s Packing Day.

On packing day, you get two Rubbermaid bins, and all your stuff goes into it, and then you put it on a truck and that’s it. (Well, that’s not quite it if you’re a Team Lead or a Steering Committee member, and Ken is one of those things and Cameron and I are two of those things, so we were committed to stay until the end.) Once your stuff is on the truck, you don’t see it again until the end of the first day of riding – so… you’ve packed your shoes, you’ve packed your purse (because you’ll need it in Montreal) and you spend the rest of the day in your second favourite shoes and you’re wearing clothes you don’t like because you packed everything else, and your wallet is gone, but you have a debit card… It’s a crazy scene.

I took some stuff over to Erin after that, and then dropped the car off to Amanda (still young enough to want it every time we’re out of town) and now I’m home, and I’m tired, and I’m headed for bed because tomorrow has a 5am wake up call, and…

And I know I said I’d do Karmic Balancing gifts, but poppets, I am so tired, and I don’t think I can start the rally this tired, so I’m going to bed, and I promise I’ll do them all when I get home. (There’s a lot. Like.. more than 50.)  In the morning I’m going to get up, and I’m going to fulfill my part of the bargain. Despite the heat, and my incredible middle-agedness, I am going to ride my bike to Montreal.

I’m nervous. I have a terrible cramp. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, but let me tell you this. I haven’t forgotten I love you all. Riding my bike makes no difference at all to this charity. I could ride it forever and it wouldn’t matter at all. It’s your donations that make the change, it’s you that has an impact on the world. I’m just…. a knitter on a bike, and you are amazing.

I’ll do my part tomorrow. Thank you for yours.

(PS. If you’re looking to follow us as we travel, I might not be able to blog, but  instagram is a great bet.  I am @yarnharlot. Cameron is @thesilverboy, Ken remains @five12plus, Pato’s at @_patovr.  If you like what you see, you can make our phones ding by clicking on our profiles.)



63 thoughts on “Now we ride

  1. No, YOU. YOU are amazing. I could never even contemplate doing what you are doing. So I’m going to do the safe and easy thing and chuck some money in your jam jar, while you do the really amazing hard thing for us all.

    I wanted to get your over your line, but you are already TOTALLY OVER YOUR LINE, DUDE!!!!! So I’m going to make your bum go Ding! one of the days this week.

    Sending you heaps of love and cheering!

  2. Go team knitters! You are invincible! Don’t worry about us, we’ll still be here when you finish. We can certainly wait for karma gifts til later, no problem.

  3. We love you. Sleep, be healthy, and be safe. Your big, generous heart will carry you through. My incredible middle-agedness is praying for your incredible middle-agedness (which I believe we both meant to be self-deprecatory, but at the moment I know that you are simply incredible).

    • CAn I add my middle agedness to this party? Because I am impressed as heck as always, and wish you blue skies, the wind at your back, and your rubber on the road at all times!

  4. Hahaha – click or touch the car! All the best on this year’s ride, and may the weather gods show mercy on you all!!!

  5. May the weather be good, the miles go fast, your saddle be comfy, and the earwigs on vacation on another continent. ☺

  6. Right back at ya’ YH! Knitters are great but you have a great way of bringing them together into force for good! Best of luck to you and all your riders!

  7. Best of luck to you and the team. No flats!
    I sincerely respect you and the troops on this exhausting endeavor. The recent news of the continuing spread of AIDS worldwide is enough to make all of us pause. Thank you Steph for more than just your great knitting advice; thank you for reminding us to step up and making it easy, especially for those who are slightly beyond the range of such a ride.

  8. “I’m just ….. a knitter on a bike”

    Yeah right. Like you’re nothing special.

    We all know you better than that, Steph.

    May you all ride well and safely, and kick AIDS’ butt while you’re out there.

  9. Best of luck as you ride along. And don’t worry about us, we’ll still be here when you get back. And don’t worry about the gifts, we aren’t doing it for that, either. We’re with you!

  10. Be safe. May the wind be at your back. Thinking of you and The Team and all of the riders. YOU are all amazing, and we are glad to be (virtually) along for the ride. If you can, let’s donate a little bit more, for such a worthy cause. Carry On. We Are With You.

  11. The weather here in Haliburton at my cottage is not too bad today. I hope that you are getting this same weather as you ride. And about the earwigs. Even catching a mouse in the mousetrap the other day was not as disgusting as seeing earwigs crawling out from their hiding places. At least they don’t eat yarn (at least I hope not). Ride strong!

  12. There are a lot of us, if you’ve forgotten something I’m sure someone would be able to help. (I could get you something you need around Ottawa, for example.)

    Thinking of you!

  13. By my math, that’s something like 80K of fundraising between all of your knitters in the rally. Thank you for making helping others such a priority, and I hope the rally knows how lucky they are to have you. Have an amazing rally.

  14. Sleep tight, ride hard, and be safe! The Blog wishes all of you well on your epic ride (can you hear Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkeryie” in the background?). There is restful knitting on the other side.

  15. You can do this! We know you can, and so do you. May your ridea be trouble-free and blessed with perfect weather.

  16. Steph, you rock! You mobilize and inspire and make a difference. May the ride be safe and filled with friends both in the saddle and on the side-lines. Know that we are so very grateful for and proud of you.

  17. Ride safely, all our friends. Ride for those in need. Ride to be strong. Ride for those of us recovering from ankle surgery and who could if it was possible, physically. Sending love, strength, heart, and love…. Kathleen in Vermont

  18. Do you realize -you must know- but *everyone* on your team has exceeded their fundraising goal! Awesome! May the miles fly swiftly below your pedals.

  19. I’m contemplating packing for an upcoming vacation and feeling a little overwhelmed, and I’ve packed for camping trips in the past, so I understand where you’re coming from. I know you’re an organized girl, so you’ve got it all covered – as long as you packed enough of the right kind of knitting to keep you sane. Best of luck for a great experience for you and all of the riders! Love the post and pics of Cameron and the BSJ. So cute.

  20. You might not be able to do it without us, but you work so hard for it that it’s our pleasure to contribute. I hope the ride goes well!

  21. In the spirit of fundraising contribution I have just donated to Knitters Without Borders. In part because it is something I can do from the relative safety of New Zealand while other parts of the world are hanging on by their fingernails.
    But also to thank you Steph, for your writing. For the laughter (and tears GO ERIN), for that post about Frankie being a multiplier. Somewhere in the words I found that I am a Knitter and that settled over me and in me and made me content. (That sentence does not even begin to describe how profound that moment was.)
    Forever grateful

  22. I miss my hockey bags. I had two enormous ones from the 70s that didn’t survive my move (meaning they did not get onto the truck) to Texas. Oh, hopw I wish I still had even one when I am packing for a fiber retreat (or meetup). Good lock on the ride to you and all your fellow riders!!

  23. You did it! Through rain, heat, and sore arse, you pedaled all the way to Montreal again. Truly amazing and inspiring!

    I hope you were able to enjoy a nice long bath with a glass of wine, soft cushions to sit on, and a good sleep in a comfortable bed after all of that effort. All of your hard work on the steering committee and during the rally/ride has raised not only funds for PWA’s services but also raised awareness.

    (And you new haircut looked fantastic, with and without your bike helmet.)

  24. The feeling of being out of step is awful and I don’t seek it out, but it can have some pretty profound teachable moments. This year, you weren’t just a rider. You were an organizer and that comes with a completely different rulebook. Perhaps if you were just a rider you would have taken this year off to spend with your sister. Maybe not, but it would have been totally justifiable and everyone would have understood. But when you’re an organizer, those responsibilities take on different meaning and you stepped up big.

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