The Power of a Bicycle

2018-06-07  |  Events |  Posted by: Ramona Oss

I experienced something four years ago that was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. An experience you have to live in order to truly appreciate the magnitude of its impact.

On a Saturday morning in June I stood as an individual among 4,853 people. They were almost all strangers to me but yet I felt connected to them. I felt like we were standing together, as a community, in solidarity. And we were.  Cancer united us all. Each one of us had a story to tell. Some had stories of hope, some had stories of despair but yet together we stood.  

And so began my very first Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. There I was at the opening ceremonies standing in a sea of humanity realizing that I was part of something much bigger than myself. Together we were working to Conquer Cancer In Our Lifetime one pedal stroke at a time, over two days between Toronto to Niagara Falls.  

I am not a cyclist, so I was nervous on that Saturday morning wondering what lay ahead. I soon learned that support and inspiration would come from everywhere along those 200 kilometers to Niagara. It came from the cancer survivors who carried yellow flags on the back of their bikes that fluttered in the wind. There were hundreds of them.  Some of these survivors had just finished treatment literally days and weeks before The Ride, but there they were, pedaling right alongside me. We passed cheering stations where children were waving, blowing horns and holding signs that read, ‘Thank you for saving my Mom.’ I would cycle up behind Riders who had large photos of their loved ones pinned to their back with the letters R.I.P. hand-written over top. There was never a shortage of motivation to keep pedaling.

I had so many feelings when I finally crossed that finish line on Sunday but the one that stood out was the true sense of pride I felt.  I was part of this incredible community, a movement really. That first year I rode, we raised $19 million dollars for Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.  That was one weekend, one event.  The power of a bicycle.

This Saturday, June 9th, I will at the opening ceremonies once again, preparing for my fourth Ride. I cycle in this event because I can. I cycle for those who cannot. I cycle in memory of those we lost and for those who are in treatment. I cycle so that we can Conquer Cancer In Our Lifetime.  Please consider joining our Ride community and becoming part of the movement.