I am a casual cyclist. By casual I mean, I have a bike and I very occasionally ride it very short distances. Ever since I’ve been on staff at YSC (5 years now!), I’ve been intrigued by Tour de Pink, but it always seemed like something impossible for me. How could I ride that far? It seemed like an awesome event, but something for serious cyclists only.
Last year when YSC announced the Inaugural Tour de Pink South, which claimed it was an easy, flat course, something in me made me hit the register button. I had grand plans of becoming a serious cyclist in that time between hitting register and the actual ride, but that didn’t quite happen. I started off strong(ish) with 3 short bike rides the first week I was officially signed up. However, one thing I didn’t really account for was Midwest weather. The cold settled in and this casual cyclist wasn’t about to go for a ride in the snow! I spent a little extra time at the gym over the winter and waited for spring. Our spring was cold, rainy and windy. I officially logged a 4 mile ride and a 12 mile ride outside before heading to Florida for Tour de Pink South. Needless to say, I was terrified! I felt so unprepared and just knew it was going to be a disaster.
While my training was certainly lacking, I decided this was a once in a lifetime event for me and I was going to have fun. I knew there would be amazing support along the course and if I couldn’t ride that far, or fast enough, there would be some pretty great SAG vans to help me out. When all the riders gathered for breakfast before the ride started on Friday morning, I felt totally intimidated. I was in a room full of really serious cyclists. We gathered at the starting line and just as I was about ready to fake an injury or illness, they called all the survivors to the front. Wow. It was simply amazing to see the number of young breast cancer survivors that were riding. For some, they were already cyclists, but for many, this was an opportunity to take their body back after cancer, to show they could do something amazing and that’s when I remembered why I was riding. I was going to attempt to ride my bike 200 miles because I could and because there are too many young women who can’t.
Once the ride started, I found my rhythm. I found groups of other cyclists going my pace and I just pedaled. And I did it. I rode nearly all 200 miles of Tour de Pink! This out of shape, very casual cyclist did it!
Riding in Tour de Pink changed me. It turned this casual cyclist into a not quite as casual cyclist who has signed up to ride in three organized long distance rides this summer. It has given me confidence in myself as a cyclist. More importantly, it made me even more committed to ensuring young women facing breast cancer have the support and resources YSC is able to provide because of the money raised riding in Tour de Pink.
I can’t wait to ride in the second YSC Tour de Pink South and I’d love for you to join my team! So if you are even a little bit interested but aren’t sure if you can do it, or you think spandex shorts aren’t your thing—you can do it! Believe me, if I can do it, so can you! Not to mention 200 miles on a bike will have you loving padded cycling shorts in the end.
Interested in joining the ride of a lifetime?
Registration is only $75 if you sign up between now and August 31!
Use discount code EarlyBird and register here.
This is the biggest discount offered for the ride, so share it with your friends and family to help you build your team or join Mary’s team! The team with the most riders registered by October 1 will win a free team photo taken by the professional photographer at the ride.
See you in the Sunshine State!