Tuesday, August 5, 2014

cyclathon 2014

Perhaps it is best that I don't write about events until much later - I seem to have much less to say.  That seems better for everyone involved.  That will probably be the case here, unless, of course, I get on a roll.  I'm figuring that probably won't happen, however, since I am almost falling asleep as I write even this.  Wisdom would say "Go to bed, Carla."  Carla would say "Shut up, wisdom…..  I'm too dumb to listen to you."
Since we are currently in the middle of shuttling our kids back and forth to camp - Red Rock Bible Camp, that is - we are revisiting the path well travelled by the cyclist for aforementioned Cyclathon.  This event has been going on since I was probably around 10, or even earlier… so for a good 10 years at least (don't do the math).  It is a fund raiser for the camp and for sending kids to camp who can't afford it.  The idea is to get people to sponsor you, if you are a cyclist, and then cycle (usually the first Saturday in June??) to the camp.  Back in the day we used to ride it in two days, camping over night in this big park.  But we rode the entire way to camp.  Now they got smart and do it in one day, cutting out the last (think curvy, one lane, up and down hill, dangerous) section.  This year, due to road construction, it was even shorter as they cut out a large front section.
Eric, Maddy, Mia and Cade all cycled, along with the entire Giesbrecht/cousin family.  Lucy and I were the token can-you-please-give-me-some-water-and-take-my-sweatshirt-and-also-I-need-the-bug-spray-and-I-should-probably-have-more-sunscreen people.  We thought Lucy was a little young for riding yet and so we drove around back and forth between groups, cheering them on and helping out.

Lucy and I met up with everyone at each stop, so still felt very much a part of the whole thing.  We had a swell time.  And I was even the cool (stupid?) mom and let her ride up front with me part of the time.

Cade, being rather less-than-large in stature rode a much-less-than-largeish bike.  Poor guy had to pedal like a mad person to keep up with everyone else.  I swear he did twice the distance as everyone else… he pedalled so fast and furious the whole time, I can't believe he could keep up.  But keep up he did - not only keep up, but stayed ahead of some of the pack.  And never complained but seemed to be having the time of his life.

I don't think there could have been a more perfect day for the cyclathon.  It was warm, but not hot.  There was a bit of a breeze, but was at their back almost the entire way (one small section it was from the side/front but it was rather brief).  This, combined with a significantly shorter ride….. it was a great introduction for the Ackermann kids, who were rather ill prepared (as in hadn't done any distance riding, or hardly any riding for that matter, in preparation).  Next year could be a bit of a shock.

At this point in the race (well, not really a race), I saw a garage sale sign.  Being one to never want to pass up a good garage sale (and I have had to, believe me…. it is a sad life I lead), I, much to Lucy's dismay, took a little jaunt off the trail to a fabulous sale.  Came away with a few good little treasures.  It was a little hard to explain how a bedside table ended up in the car at the end of the cyclathon, especially when we had a bunch of bikes to load into the car, but thankfully I married a very patient and enduring man.  He puts up with a lot of my crap treasures.

The camp provides rest stops and refreshments every 10-15 kms.  And they do a great job of it - pretty much every snack or drink you could desire.  Plus they started with an amazing lunch and end at the camp with more good food.  Everyone was well hydrated and fed.

After Eric was finished the whole thing (first one finished and he held back and stayed with his group until the end.  Yes, I am bragging over my man!) he road back and cycled with the kids group (kids and Glenda, I should say…. she was the token supervising adult).

Ah, the finish line…..

Lucy met everyone with a cheer and a beverage.

I missed Glenda's race to the finish, so we recreated it.

I'm pretty sure that was exactly how she did it the first time.  She is such a champion.  Or something.
Once everyone got to camp, it was hot tubbing for all the exhausted cyclists.  They rent a bunch for the weekend to ease all those sore muscles.  Man, we didn't have those luxuries back in the day either.  (Although my friends and I did spend a great deal of the time hanging on to the trucks that said "Caution, cyclists ahead" and let them pull us along…. none of that funny business allowed anymore, nosireebob!
There was even plenty of energy left for many a rousing game of Bump.  

The whole event winds up with an awards time and prizes.  PRIZES.  Good ones.
Now if you look at the bottom left corner of the following picture, you will see the corner of a very lovely electric fireplace.  That fireplace is now mine!!!
Actually, that is not at all true.  You see, once I found out that the fireplace actually was one of the prizes, I went around to all of my family members who rode (only cyclists were entered in the draw) and told them to please, please, please pick the fireplace if they get called before it is gone (names are just drawn out and then that person can pick whatever prize they want, as long as it is still there, of course).  My son, the son whom I carried in utero for 9 months; the son whom I painfully brought into the world with all the strength I could muster; the son whom I fed for months on end and changed his poopy diapers, and wiped his snotty nose, and got peed on by, and would throw fits about any number of things and I would calmly and saintly train him in proper behaviour (shall I go on?) - he got picked FIRST!  Ya baby - the fireplace is mine!
No…. scratch that.  (If I had sound effects you'd hear that screeching going on….)
He picked the tablet.
What???  What just happened here?
Mia and Maddy and their friends all looked back at me to see my look of shock and confusion as the fireplace that should have been mine turned into some piece of crap electronic device that he didn't even need because he already has a Kindle.
(Okay, okay.  In all fairness, I get it - he is an eleven year-old boy after all.  But don't tell him that.  It is much more fun to throw in little jabs here and there about my lack of a fireplace.)
Actually all four family members did get to choose a prize but the fireplace was long gone by then.  And just to clarify - no, electric fireplaces are not the real Macoy.  But when your dream house has a grand stone wood burning fireplace and the house you bought doesn't have anything, a well made, fairly attractive electric fireplace will be welcome.  A mantle is essential to make a home decorating enthusiast happy.
I probably will get over it.  But I'll wait until his wedding reception to get in the final jab.
Oh yes, we were talking about cycling, camp and raising money…. not selfish sons (I jest!) and fireplaces.
Actually, I don't have much left to say other than I was so proud of my family.  From the fastest man on earth (or in the RRBC Cyclathon) for a husband, to daughters who pushed themselves to finish strong, to a son who rode further than anyone else (no, not technically….), this was one proud mamma.

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