This year was incredible at Tour de Pink (TdP) for so many reasons including a fabulous milestone – celebrating the 10th anniversary Tour de Pink East Coast ride. Ten years ago, Matt Purdue and I were able to convince four other cyclists plus support volunteers to ride from Boston to NYC to raise money and awareness for YSC. That small but powerful effort has grown to more than 1,000 participants and over $1 million raised annually between the East Coast, West Coast and Atlanta TdP rides.
After each year’s Tour de Pink I look back and say, it went by so quickly, I didn’t get any good pictures, I can’t believe I won’t see all of these amazing people for another year and many other thoughts. And this year was no different. However, in a way I cannot quite express, there was something different this year in a very, very positive way.
The energy on the rides was fabulous. Everyone was upbeat, excited to ride, volunteer or work their particular role. Balancing this energy was a subtle peacefulness and relaxed atmosphere. I know that sounds odd and mutually exclusive. I really wish I could articulate it better. It was just something intangible yet beautiful.
For those of you who have not experienced Tour de Pink (#YSCTdP), at the Friday and Saturday night dinners we invite a survivor and a caregiver to speak to the participants. They tell their story, why they are riding or volunteering and what the ride means to them. Everyone has their own way of expressing this.
Some do so through touching stories, others through tears and still others through humor (like the Top 10 reasons to ride in Tour de Pink á la David Letterman’s Top 10). But each story only further supports the meaning of the ride and the bond we all form with each other for a common cause — to raise money for YSC and its programs so that no young woman has to go through breast cancer alone.
Get a glimpse at what an amazing time we had at Tour de Pink in the 2013 East Coast and West Coast online photo albums (all photos by Jake Orness). Registration for next year’s rides will open in early 2014, so please visit our website then to find out more.
Finally, I’d like to share something said to me this year that is perhaps my favorite line from the 2013 YSC Tour de Pink. Now, granted, there were a number of really great things said along the way, but, when my metropolitan (that’s a new nickname for metastatic because it sounds so swanky!) sister rode her bike next to mine on day two of West Coast Tour de Pink she said, “You know what I decided today? I decided today I don’t have cancer!” And you know what? … She lived that on the ride and tries to live it every day.
And so another Tour de Pink season ends and we close out with the same reason we ride every year … Because We Can!