What the heck I had the shorts

It’s 6am on Sunday, the day of the Bike Rally departure, and I’m sitting at my desk, drinking coffee, and wearing my cycling clothes, because I have decided to give it a shot. My back isn’t great, but neither is AIDS, so I guess the decision was simple, in the end.

There’s always some way that the Rally gives me the willies every year – either it’s the distance or the time away or the fundraising or, something, but there’s always a new way to scare me, and somehow, I feel like this year it decided I should be worried on every level. I am stepping from here into the arms of my Bike Rally family, and Team Knit, and I know that there won’t be a kinder place for me if I struggle, and I have a lot of yarn in my bag.

Despite a thing for Shetland Lace, I’m not really into pain, so I’ve got heaps of drugs with me, and the repeated assurance from my doctor that I can do myself no permanent harm, nor cripple myself for months to come, and so not trying feels like cowardice, which is a fault of mine, but one I try to resist.

I am so grateful to each and every one of you for your support, and your help, and your kind words and for being the people that I have to tell things to. In a lot of ways, if I am ever able to be brave, it is because I don’t want to tell you I wasn’t.  Thank you for everything, I know that PWA is as grateful to knitters as I am, and so are their clients. You guys are great, you are changing the world, and literally lives are being saved with your yarn money, and it remains one of the greatest things of my life to tell  people that it’s knitters who are doing it.

I’m going to put our links here one more time, in case you’re moved over the next week, as we make our way across Ontario.






I’ll try to post here, but it usually doesn’t work from my phone – for sure you can watch us all go at my instagram (@yarnharlot) or by tracking the hashtag #f4lbr.

I’m going to go ride my bike now, and try to be brave.

(PS there are a million Karmic Balancing gifts left, I promise to do them when I come back.)

63 thoughts on “What the heck I had the shorts

  1. Best wishes Steph – adding my good wishes to the many, many others coming your way.
    We are all behind you, whatever happens.

  2. Best wishes, Stephanie. Sending some distance reiki your way. I know your team and rally family will watch out for you and make sure you don’t push past what you should.

    And even if you had to stop 5 miles in (you won’t, you won’t –that’s just an example!) absolutely no one would think you weren’t brave, or dedicated. I mean really, have you met you??? So be gentle on yourself if on the incredibly off chance the outcome isn’t what you want.

    Ride on. Instagram support will be there!

  3. Courage isn’t the absence of fear – courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway!
    Go feel your brave! And take drugs often when needed. 🙂

  4. You and your team are awesome and awe-inspiring!
    Here’s to good weather for the ride.
    keep well and enjoy yourself

  5. Hope the ride goes well for you and your whole team. I’ll be thinking of you today so sending positive thoughts your way.

  6. I always feel nervous before embarking on a lbike tour. You’ve taken the hardest step, overcoming the fear. Wishing you and rhe team every success!

  7. May the wind be at your back, the road ahead of you smooth, and like Camelot, the rains fall after sundown and by morning light the sun appear. Have faith all will be well…..and lots of drugs if not!

  8. I am cheering you on! I have no words that will make it easier. You challenge me to be a better person; to be more generous and accepting of others and myself. To not give up so easily and to value the people in my life and those that I may never meet.
    No matter what, you will not let us down. You decide what’s best. There is no shame .

  9. Go, Harlot, go! Ride as if there is a clearance sale on cashmere, silk, and qiviut yarns at your destination!

  10. If you go to Ken’s “My Team” page, you can get to Stephanie’s page — since she’s probably already riding and won’t be able to fix the link.

  11. You are no coward. Seriously you are so good and so brave. Our best wishes are for you with every turn of the bike wheel.


  12. Every year I am completely blown away at the effort it takes to ride your bike such a monumental distance!!! Courage and fortitude are yours. Cowardice is not. For bravery is not doing something big that we can do with ease. Rather, it is doing something big that scares us in so many ways. Godspeed, Team Knit!! #amazed

  13. Let me add another voice to the throng – Yay, Steph! You are such a good example of generosity and courage. We’ll be with you in spirit every push of the pedals.

  14. My medical professional says that “bodies not in pain heal faster.” So take those drugs when you need them, and ride on. We know you will do your very best; that’s just the way you roll.

  15. Finally payday for me so I could donate! I see the Instagram posts and you are all looking good so far! Keep it up, you got this!

  16. Thanks for stopping to chat with us! Enjoy your refreshments in Adolphustown! Have a safe ride to Montreal! Love from Rose with the red socks

  17. Feeling afraid is not cowardice. Allowing your fear to stop you is. You are going forth to do an incredibly difficult thing, under less than ideal circumstances. You’d be nuts to not be concerned. Instead, you are brave, inspiring, and part of an incredible force for good.


  18. Hi, Steph,
    May the wind be at your back, etc.
    A few years ago I hurt my SI and I was hobbling around with a cane. My friends kept asking me what happened and I got tired of the truth, which was that I bent way down and reached way back into the back of the bottom shelf of the frig to get a plate of appetizers for a dinner party at my house., Something went “pop” where my butt meets my hips and that was it for me for a while. So I told them all it was my new 26 year old hunky Brazilian lover and totally worth it. At least I got a good laugh out of it! Now I’m in a wheelchair and would love to be able to hobble around.
    Julie in San Diego
    P.S. It’s telling me to touch the man! Glad to oblige.

  19. A donation for all those working through their journey inspired by yourteam as you team as you work through yours. The ride is the cherry on top. Y9ur journey started with all the work to pull this together. Thanks f9r all your hard work & inspiration.take care of yourself!

  20. Dear Steph,
    I’ve been away and had to catch up on your blog. I hope you are feeling well, and doing great! I had previously recommended that you read Dr. John Sarno’s book, Healing Back Pain. I want to reiterate as you’re asking for a miracle,: PLEASE PLEASE read it! This is the miracle, you will feel better by the time you finish it, and it’s not even that long. It has saved so many people, including myself and family members. I hope you don’t need it, but if you do….

  21. I know you’re doing incredible as on monday as I drove off the ferry I had the pleasant shock of seeing a very serious faced Harlot waiting to board in the rain. I didn’t have a chance to spot anyone else and it felt impolite to bother you, but know I’m cheering you all on, along with the rest of the crew.

  22. hahaha, oh boy i am slow! took me 3 days to “get” the title. opened up blog today and laughed. just glad i finally got it. you got more than the shorts! you area all amazing!

  23. You are still inspiring….whether you are dealing with a sports injury or braving learning to use toe clips or all the things amazing you are!!
    Just showing up makes a difference-and keep in mind we would still donate whether you ride or not-because it’s important to YOU-and you are important to us.

  24. Thinking of you as you ride/support the rally and PWA Steph. I am absolutely certain that you’re making a valued and valuable contribution, whether your butt is in contact with your bicycle seat or not. You have that kind of effect on people….

    Also, to Brenda, HeleninBoise and to you, Steph: thanks so much for your perspectives on the “whether or not to pray for others who are not religious” conversation in the comments the other day. Sorry I have not replied earlier…busy week. I too think it’s imperative that the way we conduct our conversations on topics where our beliefs differ is the mark of our respect and care for one another. My faith teaches me to respect and care for everyone, regardless of whether we “agree”. Thank you for your insights and acceptance, I really appreciated both.
    Much love!

  25. Stephanie, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Things must be pretty tough for you to be away this long. We miss you and are waiting for your safe return. Sending you hugs! <3

  26. I remember that re-entry and telling us about “the ride” takes time. Your back pain can’t be making that any easier. Hopefully you are resting and enjoying some down time, time with Elliot and/or a physiotherapist. We can wait patiently for the next blog.

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