For the past three years, preparing for a century ride has become a natural part of my life. Cycling season is as real to me as winter, spring, summer and fall. I think daily about cycling. Routes to try, weather conditions, jerseys to wash, pedals to tighten, miles to log, hills to climb. Since a large chunk of my limited brain space is occupied by all things bike, it’s ironic to me that I don’t often think about the big picture.
This year I’m riding for The Lance Armstrong Foundation as a member of Team Fatty. Actually our full name is Team Fatty: Fighting For Susan. Susan is the wife of Fat Cyclist. Fat Cyclist doesn’t have the luxury of forgetting the big picture because Susan, a mother of four, is in the fight of her life against cancer. She is has battled cancer before and it’s back for more. Previously I understood that riding my bike and raising money to cure cancer is important, but I didn’t fully get it until I watched this clip, What I Would Say to Cancer. Here’s what I’d say to cancer:
You have taken too many children long before it was their time. You leave mothers with drawers full of onesies fresh with the scent of baby. You have taken mothers leaving children longing to hear just one more bedtime story snuggled in the crook of their mommy’s neck. You have taken fathers, leaving daughters to walk the aisle alone on their wedding day. You have taken husbands and wives, leaving one side of the bed cold.
Here’s the worst part of you, cancer, you’re greedy. When you can’t take a life, you take whatever you can. You are a sneaky thief, taking lungs, breasts, brains, limbs and other parts that don’t belong to you. You have no conscience, no heart.
But I do. In fact, I’ve been told that my heart is freakishly strong and you can’t take that away. So, for all my loved ones and loved ones of my loved ones who have battled cancer, I’m pulling on my Spandex, swinging my leg over the crossbar of my bike and getting ready to ride 100 miles. I could go on, but I won’t because each pedal stroke is my answer to you, cancer, and I’m going to keep on pedaling until you get what I’m saying.