July 9, 2012
This was a hard weekend for our family cycling team. It was the weekend that we were doing our back-to-backs. See, the rally has a list of training accomplishments that need to be done by certain dates. 50km by this date, 100km by that date, and then back-to-backs, which are two long rides done back to back, one day after the other. We decided it would be Saturday for us - or at least for Amanda and I. Samantha and Ken are way ahead, and have already completed theirs, and Erin did hers last weekend I think, because she had to be a mum this weekend. I'd been dreading it all week. The plan was to do 120km on Saturday (that's (75 miles, if you're keeping track) then go home, sleep and get up the next day and do 65 km more. (40 miles.) Now, I think that any reasonable person would be pretty worried about that, so I didn't worry about being worried, until Saturday morning, when I woke up with a knot of anxiety in my tummy - so significant that it threatened to make me dizzy at times.
Posted by Stephanie at July 9, 2012 3:50 PM
It's been hot here all week, and I was worried about that, but on Saturday it was threatening rain, and so I worried about that too. We arrived at the meeting place to ride, and there were about 60 riders standing around, all looking at an ominous sky that rippled with threatening clouds.
We made light of it, said that at least a little rain would be cooling on our bikes, but people don't look up that often if they aren't concerned. We checked in, got the route straight, and started promptly at 8am. At 8:01 there was a tremendous crack of lightning, earthshaking thunder - and then the sky opened. It sheeted down on us, pounding so hard that at times I was sure it was hailing. (It wasn't.)
Lots of riders turned back at that point, but us - we didn't, because it was our back-to-back deadline, and there didn't seem to be a lot of choices around it. I could hardly see where I was going (glasses + bike + buckets of rain = CRAP) and I worried about running into the back of Amanda, or slipping, or my brakes not working... within moments I was so wet that my shoes were full of water.
It let up about 10 minutes later, but continued to rain a little, until around the 5k mark. It was at that point that Amanda had the second bad thing in her day. She checked over her shoulder for traffic, overcompensated by a millimetre, and her front rim hit the edge of a gully by the curb. If it had been dry, everything likely would have been okay, but it wasn't dry. It was very, very wet, and she tumbled and skidded off her bike, then smeared along the road for a couple of metres, before coming to a halt tangled in her bike. ( I narrowly missed running her over, which was the only thing that could have made it worse.) She was literally covered in road rash - both legs, elbows, a shoulder, her side, both hands...
You could have knocked me over with a feather when the kid got up, let go a few tears, and then got on her bike and kept riding. 115 km to go, all banged up, and she kept riding. I don't know if I would have. So proud of her.
30km later I took a scary spill on an incline and smashed the right side of my arse enough that it's still so swollen I sit crooked in chairs. I cut my leg up, just where it was starting to heal, and skidded my elbow pretty good. I'm the mother though, so I pretended it didn't hurt, but it really did.
I cried on the inside.
5km later Amanda had a flat, and by then the sun was searingly, hatefully hot... and the rest of the day passed in a haze of aches, pains and determination.
The next morning Amanda and I texted each other from bed comparing the size of the relative trucks we felt had hit us, and trying to get out of riding again. There was no way out, and we finished our back to backs yesterday without anything else happening... which was a minor miracle considering the level of anxiety we both had. Falling is hard on the soul. It was so bad at a couple of points on Saturday that I couldn't even remember why I was doing it.
And then I remembered. Fundraising. The whole point. Riding my bike to Montreal actually does nothing to raise funds without your help, and I'm ever so grateful that you all make it worth it.
(PS. While Amanda and I were falling down, across the city my sister Erin took a tumble too. I think it's genetic.)
Without further ado, this week's Karmic Balancing gifts, with our thanks.
The forever generous Debbi (Stitches of My Life Designs) went into the stash and came up with karmic balancing presents. She'll be sending Wendy W a beautiful skein of Brooks Farm Riata (mohair, silk and wool)
A beautiful skein of Shepherd's Wool is headed off in the mail to Bettina H
She's parting with a skein of Gaia Lace (40%cashmere, 60% silk) - heading off to a happy new life with Becky G.
Finally - Sunshine P is going to be lucky to get 3 skeins of Tilli Tomas - Beaded Plie.
Katherine did a little stash diving herself, and she'd like to share two balls of sock yarn (I love this stuff- but as you know, I'm a sucker for self patterning yarn) with Jean A.
The lovely folks at Miss Babs Yarn and Fibers (a source of many delicious things) have donated a $25 gift certificate that is going to Corrie S.
Dani over at Lioness Arts has very generously offered to dye up a gift. She's willing to part with four skeins (that's enough for a sweater) of her Alpaca/silk in
the colourway "Shapes in the Clouds."
Lovely stuff, and it now belongs to Aprille J.
The lovely ladies at Jordana Paige, purveyors of fine knitting accessories, have kindly donated a bag- the fabulous Rio bag, to be exact.
The family cyclists (I think this time it was Sam) pulled out Kim P's name.
By the way? You should totally take a look at the Jordana Paige Fundraiser for the Preeclampsia Foundation. They're selling off imperfect bags for $50 bucks a pop, with 100% of the sale price going to the foundation. Very nice.
Stephanie at Dirty Water Dyeworks has a beautiful kit for Dipped Infinity
and Judith F will be picking her colours and getting that bit of prettiness in the mail.
Jenny in the UK has some very pretty locally dyed sparkle yarn from her stash that she'd like to send along.
It's Fivemoons laceweight, and she'll be sending that to live with the very lucky Linda L.
Kathy A's stash offered up something lovely.
A skein of Henry's Attic Lace - 100% silk that she'll mail to Marguerite M.
Laura of Knitfacts has two sets of her amazing ringlets to send away.
Lori S and Jen H can each choose their favourite colourway.
The delightful Aubrey over at Goodies Unlimited (I personally recommend her Everything Balm. I have it slathered all over my bike gouged leg at the moment, although to be fair, her Stress-free Green Tea soap is a favourite too.) has four $25 gift certificates going out to lucky knitters...
Janene R, Cindy W, Jacqueline F and Lindsey TG are going to be her newest fans.
That's it for now, thanks for your support! Remember that everyone who donates to anybody on our family team is eligible to randomly receive a Karmic Balancing gift, and because someone will ask if I don't post them, here's the link to all our pages.
(PS. It doesn't matter how much you give - everyone has the same chance. We know that everyone does their best with what they have, and we're grateful for it all.)
Applause, ladies, for your determination. Also good karma: you're raising awareness as well as funds!
Glad you peservered! And some lovely karmic gifts there!
Congratulations on making the back to back... I'm sure I would have given up by now...
Can those of us in uk donate? It doesn't seem to want to let me :-(
Be very, very good to yourselves. Dark chocolate would be involved, I think.
Congratulations on surviving your weekend. I feel guilty about winning a karmic gift after your tumbles, but I won't let that stop me from knitting some socks with Katherine's self-patterning yarn :-) Recuperate rapidly and take good care of yourselves...
On an unrelated note, I saw this and thought of you.
Congratulations on your back to back. I had no doubts of your persistence! Love the karmic gifts...
Holy crap. I just added to Amanda's fundraising effort. All that pain has to be rewarded. You guys are da bomb.
can i make another donation to get you to stay in for a day and rest? maybe eat something fattening like a croissant? cuz this constant falling down shit is scary!
Ohmigosh - if you (Stephanie, the rest of your team, and the other commenters) go to the sight that Sarah at July 9 4:11 PM posted, your laughter will take away a part of the pain, certainly! Thanks, Sarah.
Okay - I'll re-post it since it is difficult to find those comments sometimes.
(My mother was Canadian, and we were brought up "Canadian"!)
Meanwhile, good luck and do be careful (road slides and curb-events notwithstanding). Your attitudes are every bit of what you need to do this ride. Thanks for doing it for those of us who are not riding, but are pleased to contribute.
Keep calm and carry a spare tube.
Good luck to you all, I almost cried for Amanda when you said she fell. I made my donation today!
You know, I love that you're doing this cycling thing but I'm confused by all the spills. WTH? Is it because you're feet are locked in? As I drove across Ontario on Saturday I thought of cyclists -- most two-lane highways don't offer much space, and I dreaded coming over a hill to encounter a bunch. This has happened before and and omg, talk about hazardous. I salue the cyclists! But as a driver it freaks me out. I can't imagine how you even get out of Toronto .. or, do you start outside of the city? I'm inspired, curious, and freaked out.
Power to you - everyone - and please be safe.
Sending positive and healing karma to the team! Safe travels interspersed with cool tail winds and lots of laughter...
It's things like this that a)totally prove how awesome it is to be a human being and feel motivated by altruism, b) demonstrate what amazing things women can do and c)make you realise just how superhuman those men in the Tour de France are. Bradley Wiggins is superb - although as he probably doesn't knit, there is clearly some room for improvement ;-)
Gosh, Steph, I'm sort of embarrassed to be winning a gift when you and Amanda won a set of matching injuries. I guess I'll just recommend homepathic arnica for the bruises, and lavender essential oil for the scrapes, and say thank you for all you guys are doing! Way to tough it out!
Time for the Impervius charm...
It takes a lot to get up the next day and ride after a big spill. I had a few spills during my training for the MS150, and one that had me in stitches & told that I couldn't ride for a week (three weeks before the big ride). But, I made it through, I beat my fundraising goal, and I rode the whole way from Houston to Austin (albeit slowly).
Good luck! Heal fast!
Oh no! What a rough day. I am going on my first ride of the season once I get home, hopefully it won't be nearly as epic.
My gosh, you are tough ladies! I just hope that's the end of that sort of nasty spill. Best to both of you as you finish your training and head into the big ride.
Blessed be the scar tissue. It makes you strong, and gives you a great story to tell at the local bar. Whatever you are doing, most people never even attempt, so even if you end up scraped, smooshed, saddle sored, and sunburned, it's all good.
OK, um, seriously, after reading about your rides the past few weeks, I think it likely that I may never get on a bike again. Ever.
I am so proud of both of you for this weekend, and the team in general!! I am in AWE...
I stand in awe. I can barely bike around my neighborhood! You've let NOTHING get in the way of this commitment. Speaks volumes for the mom you are and the kids you raised. Kudos to all of you and stay safe out there on the roads.
And thank you to you and Dani for that gorgeous yarn. I can't wait to see what it turns into. It may not even make it into the stash but go right on the needles when it arrives. All the other fibres will be jealous but I'm sure I'll find a way to appease the yarn gods.
There must have been some bad cosmic juju attacking bicyclists on Saturday. 17 riders in the Tour de France ended up with hospital-going, ride-ending injuries due to falls and several others had injuries that would have stopped more normal mortals. Congrats for sticking with it!
BTW, lightly beaten egg whites applied to scrapes helps seal out dirt and grit (or seal it in if you don't wash it well first; plus the protein seems to help with healing, although the stiffness when it dries can be a little annoying.
Wow, you guys are amazing. Getting back on your bikes like that is impressive, and has motivated me to finally stop procrastinating and donate!
Well done ladies, you never know what you can do till you try. I second the Arnica, 3 times a day, rubbed in gently.
Heat bags applied when you stop moving for the day and before you get active the next morning... it will disperse Lactic acid in muscles and take away a lot of the soreness from tired muscles, and of course drink lots of water.
Thanks for posting the info about Jordana Paige's Purses for Preeclampsia sale. I don't need a bag (and the Preeclampsia purses are only being shipped within the USA), but I made a $50 donation to the Preeclampsia Foundation.
The picture of Sam getting back up on her bike and riding on made me really proud as a woman and a fellow mum. Way to raise a strong woman. That display spurred me to click over and (lucky me!!) get to be the person who's donation met Sam's goal. :-)
Frankly, all my bruises on the arse come from falling over things and being clumsy. Your end goal is way more impressive.
Yay I made a donation today! Congrats on your amazing accomplishment this weekend. I have some lovely things in my stash too -- how do I donate that for Karmic Balancing Gifts?
Er, or Amanda's fall :-). Not even mine and I have them confused....
Just donated! I figure if you and your team can go through all this preparation and then complete the ride, the least I can do is click a few computer keys and donate. And it is for a great cause.
You guys are amazing. And courageous. Keep it up. I have donated. :D
Thanks for sharing stories of the trials -- and successes! -- of your training for the ride! It's a real inspiration, and has played a part in motivating me to (finally!) take up bike commuting this year, since I'm moving (to Toronto!) and will have a place to store a bike. Though then I get a tiny bit worried about accidents, when I see stories like these...
(And congratulations to both you and Sam on meeting your fundraising goals! I was going to donate to one of you, in recognition of your amazing perseverance this weekend, but thought I'd put it towards someone else's goal)
I'll bring my crystal healing wand to class on Thursday the 12th, here in Vancouver. Maybe I can clear away some of the adverse karmic energy that keeps causing you to flip off your saddle into the gritty stuff under your wheels.
See you in a couple of days - safe journey west.
I admire both of you so much for sticking with it after that rough Saturday ride. I had to help support Amanda, its not a bandaid for the road rash but I hope it helps her meet her goal.
Good Luck to the whole team.
I am amazed, proud and in awe of your determination and spirit--plus your willingness to share it all with us. You go, girl! It gives me encouragement in my half-marathon training efforts.
Congratulations on completing another deadline...and surviving your back-to-backs!
A loooong time ago, a girlfriend and I used to wait until the lifeguards called swimmers off the beach...then race the thunderstorms the 5 miles home on our bicycles. Getting caught in one of those deluges was enough to break us of that bad habit. And we didn't have all the extra miles to go after getting soaked to the skin.
God bless you and the team on your epic ride. May you laugh on the other side!
I think the idea of set rides before you actually start is a brilliant idea. I went on the Great Victorian Bike Ride in 2005 with 40km under my belt as my longest ride, and it was 690km total. Thankfully day 1 was only 65km, but we did ride 116km on day 5! It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, and the one I'm most proud of (giving birth not included).
Picking yourself up is the hardest part. As long as you get straight back on, you'll finish. You have hundreds, if not thousands of knitters around the world cheering you on. No pressure, but you can't let us down... :)
Ouch. That's all. Just ouch. Hope it all feels better soon! :)
Ladies, I salute your perserverance! It must have been such a difficult thing to get back on your bikes and ride Sunday after such a difficult Saturday. Good Luck with your ride coming up.
I am so glad you managed to do the back to back. Kudo's to Amanda for being so brave and not letting the fall stop her.
I cried a little reading this. Not being a biker, I had no idea what goes into this epic ride. I'm going right over to make a pledge. You all deserve it so much.
I've been meaning to donate and kept forgetting it until today when my husband called me 2.5 hours after leaving for his training ride to ask to be picked up as he had crashed and his bike was not rideable! He'll be fine, bike can be fixed, and in support of your efforts we've now made our donation.
You are doing great with your riding. I am training for a bike ride across the US state of Iowa. Back-to-backs seems to be a necessary evil. Your ride to Montreal will be much more enjoyable because you have put the time in now. Good Luck!
May I suggest a hot soak in the bath with something lavender to scent the water and sooth sore muscles. Also a glass of wine never hurts.
Very inspirational! I run marathons and half marathons, and I know what you mean about dreading a weekend workout. Back-to-back million-mile bike rides (which is what it sounds like to me) seems way more intense than a 22 mile run in August in Kansas (aka sucky-hot), but all the same---it's like the whole week is just building to this impossible task. But once you do it, it's a story you can tell forever. And chances are, you'll end up wanting to do it again!
Keep on trucking! You inspire me!
Wow - you and Amanda are amazing! So I donated to Ken. ;)
(He was just a tiny bit not as far advanced toward his fundraising goal. Also, I clicked on his blog a few months ago and found a link to a queer rock climbers' club. Very cool!)
Luck to you all!
grats on making that back-to-back. that took guts.
i made a small pledge for you all. keep up the great work.
You guys are awesome - especially after those falls! Is there any way you can each wear 'helmet-cams' during the event, so we could watch live-feed of how you're all doing?
My hubby rode from Santa Cruz, CA to Malibu, CA, and I remember what he went through. It is not easy.
I made a small donation too!
Oh, man, I can't believe you're going through all this - I'm so proud of you, all of you -- and so glad I'm not doing it. Taught myself to ride a bike in Amsterdam in my 20s (many years ago now) and am still not very good at it.
So looking forward to your trip to Vancouver this week -- is it you that brought summer to us finally?
And karmic balancing -- donated to Erin's trip last week -- hoping your falls aren't related to the lack of confirming e-mail here .
Made a small donation to Paco in honour of my son in law's uncle.
Just reading about Amanda's fall, and then yours, makes me cringe. This couch potato can't believe you both stuck it out. Congratulations, ladies! The funds being raised will be well worth it in the end.
The worst day has happened. That's good. That means the actual ride will be a piece of cake. When you have someone with during it, it makes it a bit easier, you mentally lean on and support each other. You make it work. You all are awesome.
Speaking as a mother, I bet watching Amanda crash was way worse than hitting the road yourself.
You all are just amazing. I'm proud to "know" you!
Oh, you're all so brave! I'm so glad I donated!
I've been watching the Tour de France. They're professionals. They fall too. Sometimes for no apparent reason that I could see. They cry too. On International TV. And like you and Amanda they get up and keep going. For three weeks. I am proud of you.
You guys are awesome. I'm just sayin'.
you made me sniffle! I am so awed by your accomplishments thus far. It will be worth it when you cross the finish line.
Gosh, you and Sam are turning into two tough not-so-old (and tongue firmly in cheek) broads! (Ladies of The Blog: Don't get upset. I am proud to say I come from a long line of T.O.B's who all knew when to act like a lady and when to beat the snot out of would-be purse snatchers.)
Anyway, in addition to packing a spare tube or two for the ride, it probably wouldn't hurt to carry a small bottle or can of antiseptic spray. Maybe that's the talisman you need to stay on your bikes.
Oh my dog......what an awful ride. Way above and beyond the call of duty. You are going to have much more fun on the actual ride. I'm going to donate more money.......you all deserve it. And I hope to snag one of those Jordana Paige bags for preeclampsia. Thanks for the heads up on that one! Nina
Immeasurably proud of you and Amanda. True grit.
I'd have cried too after falls like that. And not just a little. And I don't know that I'd have been able to get back on that stupid bike.
After reading about your disaster rides, I feel like a complete sissy for avoiding a stupid, easy 30 minutes a day on the treadmill.
Once again, you and the girls have inspired me to try harder and do better. Thanks.
I cried for Amanda, too, and donated a little bit because of it. You are both amazing!
Oh honey, you guys rock so hard! Hang in there. Do you guys have Salon Pas in Canada? I think I need to gather up a bunch and send them to you for sore muscles. That and chocolate like others have suggested.
How do we make sure we're in the running for Karmic Balancing gifts?
You sure are putting all your effort into this. Surely there has to be an easier way to raise funds but you chose this way so "good on you" as the Aussies say. Hope you will all have a great day!
Well, they did just that in the real Tour de France too, a carambolage tumble of bikers, at least the three of you did it with an eye on charity. Seems your bikeride this year is all about blood, sweat and tears. You earn the gifted money the hard way. Keep those crusts of the injuries just a litlle bit smeared with a fatty substance, nothing more sophisticated than the nluetinned Ni and vea I think or good old vaseline, it is daid it will leave less visible scars, just mentioning.
Pain is transitory, the sense of achievement lasts forever. You'll do it on the day(s)!!
Goodness, all of you be more careful!
This bike rally is very intriguing and the scenery you are riding through is making this a very tempting future goal of mine! I'm interested to see your post on how it all went in the end!
Hurray for you and Amanda! You are some tough, determined (albeit sore) women! You persevered despite daunting conditions. The 'official' ride will be a piece of cake compared with that!
You and Amanda are so inspiring! Way to get back on the horse (as it is). You both rock my socks!
Did a tiny top-up for Ken. I can barely walk this summer due to a professional grade sprain and have taken inspiration from your antics on wheels. I'm so jealous I can't bike yet!
I donated today... To Ken, so he's a teeny step closer to his goal amount :)
I am not worthy! I would have donated to Amanda after reading this post, but I noticed Ken is a bit behind on his fundraising goal, so I gave it to him (he totally has Amanda to thank for it). I know that at the moment you're probably not feeling very grateful that you have the time and ability to bike, but I envy you.
Dear Harlot, I'm feeling a little guilty. You're doing all the work, and I get to help out a good cause merely by sending a little money. Kudos to all of you for the remarkable effort and dedication you are giving to this event. Thank you for the privilege of sponsoring you.
In "honor" of your 2 spills, I have donated to Ken and Pato to help them reach their goals. You all are amazing!
I think watching someone else crash is scarier that actually crashing yourself. I saw my sister crash on a galloping horse and my heart was in my throat until I saw her pop up on the other side (still in the damn saddle!). It's more of the possibilities of what can happen that's so scary.
Just read your twitter about washing your ipod headphones. I washed my classic ipod - let it dry for a day, hooked it up, it worked. seems just fine save for a small bit of residue on the back of the screen. Good luck biking.
I am totally smitten by the Henry's Attic Silk yarn that Kathie A donated and want to purchase some, but I have looked everywhere and have not even come close to anything that looks like that. Can you have Kathie contact me? Thanks.
What a great experience to share with your daughters--the wounds will heal and you will be left with memories that will remain with you forever--especially important for your girls.
I gave to Katie. Good luck with the various damaged limbs everyone.
So glad everyone is gritting through it. Wow! You and your family are so giving, so inspiring. I would like to add my own Karmic Balancing act of sending warm thoughts your way. You are doing good.
Was thinking of y'all while watching Ride the Divide on Netflix last week...check it out if you haven't seen it already...their insanity will make you feel really good about what you are seeking!
I'm a little behind on this, but I donated to Ken today. Way to go, team!
Left a bit for Katie. Hang in there team!
That is why I no longer ride on two wheels. One broken ankle is enough in my life. I cried for you both inside though...I know how it feels to lose those two wheels and find the blacktop rushing up to destroy you!!
But..keep going ladies. The victory goes to the persistant.
I am in awe of you, all of you, for being willing to go through that so that someone else's life will be better. Wow. And thank you.
Wow, sounds like a rough weekend. Sorry that you got banged up but hopefully you are both on the mend. I made a donation today on Ken's page in honour of your scrapes ,cuts and bruises as well as for the cause itself.
I bow really low in front of your determination. In the place of Amanda (my name too) I will have give up... or maybe not I never do any fundraising, I do not know how it could motivate me.
Wow. I can hear the misery of it all in your writing. My deepest and most abiding respect and admiration to you all for sticking with it. Now, go have a glass of wine and piece of chocolate cake.
You guys are less than 600 bucks from raising 50k!!! That is just incredible.
I'll be donating tomorrow to hopefully help hit that goal - waiting for payday is no fun!
Ouch! I feel for you and Amanda. You do know about Arnica and Calendula, right? Both would be so helpful to your healing. Be well.
Good for you and congrats on completing your back to backs. I'm moderately famous for my exciting bike wrecks, and I can attest to the difficulty of getting back on the bike after a bad fall - that shock and adrenaline dump leaves you shaking and makes you weaker even the next day. Warning - all this training may leave you with a lasting taste for distance riding! Anything less than a 40 mile ride really holds few charms for me. There's nothing like the "high" you feel after a long ride.
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Director of Social Media
After reading this, I couldn't imagine not supporting you. You are a tough old bird, aren't you!
Now that you've done the back-to-back, you can relax (as much as you ever can do that) about the event, because if you can do the back-to-back, you're ready. I don't ride a bike but I've done several Susan G. Komen Three Day 60 mile walks (one in rain like you described except that the rain didn't stop) and completing the back-to-back is the charm.
I've never been a big fan of riding a bike, and I'm incredibly thankful I've never had to ride in the rain. Kudos to y'all for sticking it out.
Owie! Sympathy and hugs for the falls and kudos for finishing your rides. I donated to Katie since she had the least amount. :) Go Team :)
I couldn't give much but I was glad to donate something to a worthwhile cause when you are putting yourself through so much for it.
I'd like to donate a karmic balancing gift. One skein of Cherry Tree Hill supersock, colorway Indian Summer.
Hi. I donated to Ken and I think one of the girls. I can't remember which one. Do I need to send you an email in order to be eligible?
You are all doing such a great job in the training!
Thank you for the headsup about the Jordana Paige fundraiser. That story made me cry.
Ok, after reading about Amanda's determination (and yours too) I had to go and donate to her page. Wow - she is really inspiring! I know you are so proud.