Getting my ‘mo on

This year, the charity of choice for me is the Movember Foundation and the cause is the fight for prostate cancer. This is an event that is particularly close to my heart as I lost my maternal grandfather to prostate cancer when I was in my early 20’s. The memories are still vivid in my mind as I saw my grandfather change from a vibrant and colourful person and into a person I barely recognize. I remember the few nights I stayed with him as he was getting sicker and my mum had to work.

As much as it is about my grandfather, it’s also about me. There are the main factors for prostrate cancer: family history, race and age. Fortunately, in previous studies shown, prostate cancer seemed to be less prevalent with Asian males as opposed to either caucasian or black males. Unfortunately, As I previously mentioned, my grandfather died of prostate cancer and the reality is that I will get old. As much as its about me, its also about you, whether you are a man or woman. One in seven males are likely to contract prostate cancer and one in 27 will pass away from it.

Please donate to me or my Points.com brethren as we try to raise money for a worthy cause. Here’s another great thing about Points.com – it strives to be a good corporate citizen. There is constant effort to do the right thing whether it be being environmentally green or championing charity events. Often times, these events start at the grassroot level and then take on a life of its own.

Ride for Heart 2009 Synopsis

I wanted to quickly write a quick blog to thank everyone who sponsored me for the Ride for Heart. While I didn’t meet my goal, I did raise a decent amount of money for a cause that I think is fairly important. Ultimately, this really is a precursor to another ride that I’m very passionate about which is the Ride for Cancer. But more about that when the time comes. I was really touched by the generosity of my family, friends and co-workers. More importantly, I was really touched by donations from some of my Tweeps whom I’ve never met. Here are the list of my donors whom I’d like to thank for all of their generosity on helping work towards my goal: Angelo Berios, Arthur Bydon, Billy Monk, Bonnie Schnurr, Chai-Seng Kang, Danny Soo, Darren Phillipson, Gerry Power, Jason Kwong, Joanna So, Karen Kang, Karen Hong, Keran Singh, Kun On Ip, Michael Lee, Michelle Cerqua, Mui Chua, Nyla Ahmad, Pauline Chan, Roger Pazin, Sanaa Khatri, Saul Colt, Shirly Tran, Stefan Leyhane, Tanzeeb Khalili, Tony Lau, Tristan Cuschieri and Wai Yee Tin. Through the generosity of these folk, I was able to raise $1583. Yes, that’s a really bizarre number I know.

 
So a quick synopsis of the day itself for those interested in some details of the day. The day started out as a comedy of errors. It was definitely filled with both comedy and errors at various levels. Weather forecast all week had threatened to rain but you know what they say – it’s as unpredictable as the weather. I was hoping for at least a decent day for riding – one can always hope but on ride day, the clouds were dark and it was starting to spit rain. After some debate, I decided to run upstairs at the last minute to grab a towel and some extra clothing to change into. I actually enjoy riding in the rain but 3 hours is a long time to ride in the rain and definitely doesn’t do wonders for the car if I was sogging wet. Started to drive and as I was going through the mental checklist in my head, I quickly realized that I had left my registration sticker as I grabbed my extra clothes from upstairs. That, of course, impacted my timeline to pick up my good friend, Karen, who had agreed to ride with me that day. There’s a whole other story about Karen that we’ll get to later. So I was late getting Karen which also automatically meant that I would be late going to meet my cousin, Catherine. Once we got to the parking lot and grabbed the bikes, we realized that Karen needed the tires inflated on her bike… and she did not get her registration sticker before hand. So once we got to the registration desk, it was a mad scramble of getting Karen registered, her biked looked at and getting my cousin, Catherine. That didn’t take long. But in that kafufle, I realized that I had left my water bottle in the car. So that’s how the day began. It could have been ominous but it fortunately wasn’t.
 
It was actually pretty slow starting out of the gates. Not quite the experience I remembered from last year but the weather was really cool without the sun and without a lot of strong wind. I had expected there to be packs of people out of the gate but was fully expecting the pack to break up after ramp going from the Gardiner to the DVP. It usually breaks up there because a fair number of people would hesitate going fast and those of us who enjoy the speed would take the opportunity to break out from the crowd through either shoulder. This was not the case. We were stuck in the pack and did not find the opportunity to break out until slightly after. The DVP is probably one of the nicest places to ride for a bike with such nice and smooth roads that are windy and a decent balance of hills and valleys. It was hard not to break out into short sprints because it’s just so much fun but I would eventually wait up so that both Karen and Catherine would be able to catch up. Don’t get me wrong – they were never that far behind. On average they were usually only about 2 to 5 minutes behind at any given point. I know what it’s like to have to ride by yourself on this kinds of ride and it’s never as much fun as riding with the people you came with. All in all, the ride took us about 2 hours and 47 minutes. It’s about an hour longer than my ride last year with Kish but the good news is that I didn’t cramp at the end which is a bonus. Overall, I had a really good time riding. You could not have asked for better weather and there is no experience like riding your bike on the DVP.

 

Some special kudos to both my riding partners. Karen had never in her life ridden in a long ride before and she started out with a 50KM ride. I personally think it’s a huge accomplishment for her. She didn’t complain and as much as she threatened about pushing her bike up hills, she never once did that. She rode through some of the tougher uphill climbs. I’ve done a tonne of rides with Catherine before so it was no real surprise that she would be able to do the distance. But for a tiny thing, she did really well keeping up with me. Looking back she was always close enough that I could spot her and not worry that she’d be too far off. I enjoyed the chats with both my partners at different stages of the ride and all in all, it was loads of fun. For those interested in numbers – For the 25 KM I managed to get my bike computer working, The trip time was about 1 hours and 16 mins, average speed of 20.66 KM/H, Average cadence of 66 and Maximum speed of 54 KM/H. Really poor numbers but you can’t put the amount of fun in numbers ๐Ÿ˜€ For more pics on the Ride for Heart, you can find them on my facebook link.
 
While the Heart and Stroke Foundation cause is close to home, there’s nothing that hits closer to home than cancer especially for me. So next year, my plan is to do both the Ride for Heart and the Ride for Cancer. Most of my primary focus will go towards raising money for cancer as I believe it’s a $2000 minimum to raise money for that ride. I’ll go into the personal details when I start raising money for that ride.

Riding for Heart

The Ride for Heart is a charity event that helps raise money for the Heart and Stroke foundation. Heart disease and stroke is responsible for 1 in 3 Canadian deaths every year. In fact, 15 Torontonians will be hospitalized every day this year, making heart disease and stroke the leading causes of death in Ontario. We need to change these statistics. Besides this hitting pretty close to home as I’ve had 2 uncles who suffered from stroke in the past 10 years and a co-worker of mine suffered a cardiac incident this year, for me it’s also a great way to combine doing something I truly enjoy while giving back to the community. Last year was the first time I did this event and had a fantastic time riding with friends and raising money. I started a little late last year but still raised almost $1000 due to some really generous contributors. This year, I’m trying to be more ambitious and triple that amount. The ride takes place on June 7 and I intend to ride 50KM for this cause.

To help me out, you can do any of these things.

1. Donate to me by following this link.
2. Forward my email to people you know to help me raise money for my ride

Thanks so much. Please donate. It’s for a worthy cause.