Read words from Lindsay Gafford about her experience at Tour de Pink East Coast in 2016 as a first time rider. For more of her blogs, Oh 4 Fox Sake, visit here.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. So, in early 2010 I had a bilateral (double) mastectomy with reconstruction and I moved on. No chemo. No radiation. My pathology reports showed no signs of invasive cancer so there was nothing else to do. In February of 2016, one event led to another and I found out that I had metastatic breast cancer. In July, I signed up for Tour de Pink East Coast.
The weekend of September 16-18th 2016, I pulled off a crazy stunt in which I biked 211 miles. I’m honestly not quite sure how I did it. I just got on the bike and kept riding. There were times when it was hard, but for the most part it was enjoyable. The ride was very well organized and, I can’t stress it enough, it was a ride not a race. Big difference. Nobody was trying to be first (at least nobody that was biking near me). It was about finishing the ride and helping others cross the finish line. I met quite a few lovely people over the course of the weekend even when I was slower than everyone else, there was always someone to bike with.
I haven’t really said much about why I chose to do this ride. Supporting YSC is a big part of that. I love what they do. Many people were riding in Tour de Pink on behalf of others. These were the people who asked me, “do you receive any support from this organization?”. They ride every year but they want to know that the money they raise is going towards good things. The answer is, yes, I take advantage of several YSC programs: I attend their support groups, I use their online resources, and I go to the conferences when I can. The biggest thing I get from them is a connection to a world where I’m not the odd one out. I’m normal and everyone around me can relate to what I am going through.
The other reason I rode in Tour de Pink, which is a huge part of it, is because I wanted to overcome a physical challenge. This is just a warm-up for the kind of challenges that might be in my future. I wanted to know that if I set my mind to it, I could overcome what was in front of me. Finishing that ride was a confidence booster. I am excited to do this again next year. It was fun, inspirational, and I guess I like biking (who knew?).
See you in 2017.