When I first heard about The Ride to Conquer Cancer from a family friend of mine, I was immediately interested .
Taking place for only the second time in Quebec, the ride’s organizers are looking to replicate and surpass the $5.7 million raised last year for the Segal Cancer Centre of the Jewish General Hospital and other hospitals throughout Quebec. The money is raised by thousands of people getting set to go on an ‘epic’ bicycle ride from Montreal to Quebec City, a trip of over 250 km.
The trip takes place July 10 and 11, with a stopover in Trois-RiviÃ¨res on the evening of the July 10. Each participant is required to raise at least $2,500 for the ride, and I set my personal goal at $3,535, to go with my lucky number, 35.
While the fundraising aspect is the primary reason for the ride, what might be even harder than raising the required money is getting trained for it. Cycling for over 125 km per day is a demanding task for some, especially for someone as out of shape as me. At least, as out of shape as I was a few months ago.
The average leisure cyclist bikes at speeds of around 14 km/h or so, which would leave them around nine hours to do just one day’s work, go to sleep, and then wake up to ride again. Instead, cylists on the ride will likely be trying to maintain a speed closer to 20 km/h, which would make each day take around seven hours with breaks, a goal I will be looking to reach.
So how to get in shape for such a ride? Practice, practice, practice. You may be able to bike all day without getting tired, but that is likely while maintaining a low speed and taking many breaks. In addition to training on your own bicycle in order to build a level of comfort, it’s also important to cross train and work out other parts of your body in other ways by hitting the treadmill, or lifting weights, etc.
When embarking on a journey like this, it’s also very important to eat right, which I haven’t done so well with in the past. While I don’t pig out the way I used to, I’ve snacked far too often for someone about to bike a distance twice as long as any distance I’ve ever done.
It isn’t too late to join The Ride to Conquer Cancer if you’re interested. You might be able to pull it off if you’re already in good shape and ride often, provided you can raise $2,500 in a month. If that’s too rushed, you can always take advantage of our beautiful summer through the various cycling clubs. Check out www.VeloQuebec.com for some great routes and more info on the various paths around Montreal.
If you want to contribute to the cause instead of doing the ride yourself, you can find more information on how to donate at mo10.conquercancer.ca
I’ll be tracking my fundraising and training progress on my blog jamiesridetoconquercancer.tk, where you can find steps to donate to either myself or The Ride in general.
Whether or not you donate however, make sure to take advantage of the beautiful summer weather by biking on our multiple kilometres of bike paths. You won’t regret it.