As you may have guessed from the title of this campaign... I'm labelling this year's event as my "last ride". Do I believe that that's an accurate statement? No. Eventually the day will come where I succumb to a light suggestion of: "It's a special year. Come and make a cameo". But, for now... this is where I'm at. As best as I can explain it.
2023 is my 15th consecutive campaign with the event.
In that time, I have had an absolutely incredible (and, dare I say "unprecedent") path that I could have never imagined when I started pedaling.
15 years. 3500+ kilometers with 3 bikes, 4 helmets, 21 jerseys, and more smiles, tears, laughs, grunts, and hugs than I know. Simply put... After 14 seasons, I'm not confident in how many more rides I can physically do before I can't, nor do I want to face the consequences of finding out. While my mind and heart aren't finished yet... my body is telling me that it's time. And that's okay.
But, if I have to go... I'm going big.
1) Increased training. 2) Increased fundraising goals. 3) Increased recruiting by making a light suggestion of: "Its a special year. Come and make a cameo" to a few friends. If you've ever thought about signing up... now is a good time. If you want to come back and ride with Team Finn... tell them "Red Le Grande" sent you and let's see what happens.
My involvement with Team Finn has become one of the most significant things in my adult life. The Sullivans met me with open arms and supported me along every aspect of the last decade and a half; all while trusting me with their stories and allowing me to ride along with them. To take those lessons and then try to emulate "run jump bounce sing dance live smile ride" as best, and as consistently, as I could for others. Thank you for allowing me to grow and develop in your shadow. I would say that I hope I made them proud, but they have been gracious enough to let me know, and it means the world to me to hear it.
Not only does this event continue to changes the lives of families living with cancer... It has changed my life and given me so many wonderful opportunities and experiences but I have met some of the most important people in my life as a result.
If you're waiting for a sign to get involved in some way... this is it. And if not by riding or by volunteering:
PLEASE DONATE AND SUPPORT MY 2023 TOUR DE CURE!!!
Thank you to my Team Finn family. In your entirety, as well as your various configurations... and for all of the connections that I was able to have with the individual members. All of them. I am grateful beyond measure for their lessons, their stories, their experiences, and their love and friendship. I can't possibly express it enough, and I wont begin to try... for fear that I can't do it justice or that I will miss someone.
To the Ride Community..?
For the teams that allow me to represent them as an honorary rider: I am so unbelievably proud of your accomplishments and your triumphs. Its a priviledge to watch you all doing what you do, and how you do it. Your jerseys all carry a special signifigance to me, as do our friendships. Going for a ride in those beautifully designed kits gives me such a feeling of pride... Thank you for letting me share in that with you!! I love sharing your stories.
To the riders as a whole... thank you for coming out. Again and again. Thank you for letting me try to keep you engaged, included, and supported... if not entertained.
To the support on the side of the roads, the traffic controllers, the volunteers, the safety/road tech/sweep vehicles/first aid/food service/sanitation/security/information, and guide crews... THANK YOU!!! I/We appreciate you so much!!!
To the research/hospital/treatment teams that we support... Please continuing working on "changing the story" for as many people as you can.
Extra thank you to those that ride with us. Especially those that keep coming back.
And to my donors. All of them. THANK YOU.
This doesn't happen without you.
This didnt happen without you.
Together We Ride.