What could be better than spending a beautiful sunny Saturday on a bicycle? How about spending it on a bicycle with a bunch of woman on an organized ride with lots of food and mechanical support?
The Little Red Riding Hood in Lewiston, Utah is my favorite bike ride. What I love about it is that there are lots of ride distances to choose from. For beginners, an 18 mile fun ride is definitely a great place to start. For more advanced riders, 80 miles or even a century (100 miles) tops the day. For those who aren't quite sure where they fit in, there are distances in between. The best part is there are no men allowed on the course. That way I don't have to feel intimidated getting passed a lot along the way.
I have done the Little Red Riding Hood Ride about 5 years in a row. The ride takes place the first Saturday in June every year. This year was especially notable. I signed up for the ride with my 22 year old daughter. She missed riding with me the year before and we were excited to have a mother daughter sport day we could enjoy together. Sadly, just 36 hours before our ride, my daughter was taken to the emergency room with a "bump" in her abdomen. That bump turned out to be three very large malignant tumors. She was diagnosed in the emergency room with ovarian cancer. It would be 5 days before we could get her in to see the oncologist to schedule surgery. In the meantime, I thought it would be prudent to cancel our ride. My daughter would not even think about it. She insisted she would be out for a long tim recovering from surgery and needed to ride to keep her sanity. I knew she had a point, but worried she would not be able to ride, especially the 80 miles we signed up for.
But ride we did.
And to our great surprise, her husband and all of his family surprised us by cheering us along the route and holding signs with their affectionate nick name her.
I was touched and she was amazed at how much love and support they had for her. That day, my daughter became my hero. She maintained a good cadence the entire way. She didn't show signs of fatigue until near the end where she let me pull her a bit. Really, she was pulling me.
Less than a week later, my daughter, Kalina, was in the hospital having her reproductive system removed and getting a final diagnosis of stage IV ovarian cancer. And guess what? She is already talking about riding Little Red next year.The group that Little Red does fundraising for is the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Ironically, this is the same hospital my daughter has received her treatments. Next year we hope to ride on the Huntsman Heroes Team. Of course, that will mean we have to raise enough funds. I hope we can do it. I hope my daughter can recover enough to be my team mate again. She inspires me to get on my bike. I'll cherish any day I can ride with her.
|Me and my Hero|