Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day four Moncton Community Ride

Megan summed up the Moncton Community ride with this comment, "Mike (LeBlanc) went out made a deal with the devil to create the toughest 200km of road riding and and called a fund raiser."

That being said the Mikes Bike Shop Moncton 200 in support of JDRF is fantastic event, not for the faint of heart (or legs) but a very well organized and supported ride that attracts a around 50 plus riders who have helped raise more than $40,000 for JDRF. When this event comes around next year, and you want to really challenge yourself sign up and give this ride a try.

It was a 6:am wake up call in order to get everyone a little food and loaded into the RV's in order to get to Mikes Bike Shop for a 7:30 am departure. The national relay team joined up with all the riders that had signed up to ride and raise money for JDRF. Mike and his crew at Mike's Bike Shop do a great job of organizing support vehicles and rest stops along the route. They divide the ride into 30-35 km sections, at each rest stop the support vehicles have water, fruit and other snacks in order to refuel everyone for the next section. As well at the mid way point they stop at a restaurant and riders have the option eating there.

Starting out from the bike shop, again the morning was clear, and warm, but with a pretty good head wind blowing for the first 90km till we make the turn toward the half way point. I had a couple of great rides with Megan in the morning and made it into the half way point near the end of the pack.

The next section after lunch is a 30 km ride to a town called Elgin that has a store that sells some of the largest ice cream I have ever seen, which it turns out is just about the perfect food in order to refuel the body and get ready for the next section of hills. By this point I had 140km in for the day and choose to take the next section off. Nothing like a little rest in the RV to get set for the last two sections of the ride.

After taking a little break it was time to get back on road the second to last section was pretty flat with a great tail wind that made it feel like flying. This ride brought use to within 11km of the Bike Shop, all the team riders jumped out (including Megan) to the last "team" ride into the city, a great way to end the day.

We arrived back a the start/Finnish to a surprise visit from my mom and sister and brother who drove over from PEI. It was great to see them and gave us a chance to chat for a few minutes, before they had to head out, and we were off to our hotel for the night. Again Gary made a great supper that sure felt at the end of a very long day of riding.

Day Three Woodstock NB to Moncton NB

After the great reception followed by a celebration McFlurry then another great dinner cooked by our chief Gary, it was off to the room nice long hot shower and one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in at a hotel.

Day three was another very early morning with the longest riding day of 287 km from Woodstock to Moncton. The day started out with a heavy fog, but you could feel the sun just waiting to burn it off and give us another spectacular day. Temperature was in the low 20's and light winds.

My crew was to ride first this morning, setting off in the heavy fog, there were a couple of detours starting off so a few hill climbs were involved in our early morning ride, but by the time we were an hour in the sun was out and we had settled into a nice comfortable pace line and clicking off some quick kms. Megan and I took over for the second shift of the day and had a great morning ride as the road began to become more rolling hills as we made our way along the Saint John river valley toward Fredericton. I choose to stay on the road for a third shift, who were the quickest group of riders and managed to hang on for the push into Fredericton. It was a great morning full of riding and then time of some much needed lunch.

The afternoon was to bring us out along the river on the flattest ride of the day right along the river outside of Fredericton heading to Moncton. Megan's goal for the day was to reach a 100km ridden since her trip began, with such a nice flat road to ride she and I had a great shift and she blew through the 100km mark to the cheers and encouragement of the rest of the team from the RV and it just happened that the support/photo crew were right with us to record her achievement.

In order to get into Moncton a little earlier to give the teams a little more rest time, we leap frogged the last couple of shifts of the afternoon giving us simultaneous riders cover different parts of the route. It was nice to get into our destination for the night and have time settle in with the team for a great supper and a little time to sit around and chat, including a little sing along with Jay on the guitar, lots of brown eyed girls on this trip so that had to be the first song of the night. Gary pulled off another great evening meal and it was an early night for the crews again as we had to be up and ready to roll for the Moncton Mike's Bike Shop 200km community ride by 6:50am.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day Two Pohenegamook Que to Woodstock NB

Day two started early with team one on the road by 6:30am. The day started with a very heavy fog, and somewhat cool. The rest of the team were packed and on the road behind to be ready for the first team switch at the Quebec New Brunswick boarder. Team one rolled in a little cool and wet from the fog that had stuck to helmets, glasses and cloths.

Team switch done and on the road into New Brunswick. Some good hills from the boarder into Edmonston, but the sun burned away the fog and turned in to a great riding day.

Just past Edmonston it was down along the river and some nice rolling ride for team three with Megan, we had a great ride with a solid pace for about 20km.

Teams continued to change in 20-40km intervals throughout the day. Stopping for the odd break, coffee and washroom when we could.

Hardest rides of the day were to be a very hilly section up out of the river valley and heading into Woodstock, had to have you climbing legs on for this stretch.

Just outside of Woodstock all the team gathered up and road in a pack into the Hotel in Woodstock where the Canadian Diabetes Association and our Sponsor Sanofi Aventis had organized an fundraiser and BBQ. It was a real thrill for everyone to ride into a great reception and a chance to chat with some of the local folks from around Woodstock including a welcome from the Mayor.

Evening ended off with a great meal cooked by our chief, shared around the RV's, nice long HOT shower and off to bed to get ready for day three Woodstock to Moncton 287km.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day One Quebec City to New Brunswick Boarder

Day one of our relay took us from Quebec City to 40 km before the New Brunswick Boarder. After a very wet and stormy night in Quebec City the morning was bright and sunny with temps in the low 20s and a nice tail wind to push us along.

The full relay team has been divided into three riding groups, I am riding with team 2, Megan is riding with team three, so far I have been riding back to back so that I could be on the road with Megan.

First part of the day took us out along the St. Lawrance river valley, nice flat roads very quite and some of the prettiest areas to ride I have ever seen. Everyone commented on the fact that if felt like cycling through france, with all the pretty little town, with large churches, lots of neat little shops and tidy looking farms all along the route.

Megan had a great first ride with a solid 23km in just under and hour, so far everyone has enjoy riding with her. She finnished up with a very hilly ride comming into our ending spot for the night. Total distance on the day for her a little better than 35km. Great start.

The final 60km of the ride was very hilly section, with was a real test to the last two teams of the day, but just made the shower and supper that much better. In the evening we had a chance to eat supper as a group (cooked by our on ride chief) and time to sit around a chat. Cool to find out why everyone was doing this ride.

Early bed as another very early start in order to make our next stop in Woodstock in time to arrive during a fundraiser being put on in our honour.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ready to Go

Well after months of planning, training, fund raising and prep Megan and I are almost ready to leave for Quebec City to join the 4whatmatters National Cycling relay. We will be cycling from Quebec City starting on Wed Aug 31st and finishing in Digby NS on Sunday the 4th of Sept during the Digby Wharf Rat Rally.

We are both so thankful to everyone that has made donations, both big and small and supported us in so many way. We are very proud of the fact that we have raised just shy of $5,000.00 all of which will be given directly the Montreal based research project that we have chosen to support. There are some earlier post that talk about Dr. Sylvie and her team and I encourage you read about her work and the great team she has around her. I had the opportunity to visit the lab a couple of weeks ago in Montreal and I am convinced her work will lead to something great for Juvenile Diabetics.

Over the next few days of the trip Megan and I will be using various means to keep family and friends up to date on our progress and "life on the road" The following links are social media we intend to use, including this blog.

Twitter @Beamerjdrf the foundations page

Thanks again everyone and look forward to providing updates as we roll on down the road.

Stephen and Megan

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

National Relay Ride Update

Well Megan and I are 7 days from leaving for Quebec City to join the National Relay Team as they make their way across the country. It has been a long summer of prep work including both physically getting some ride time in, which was a challenge in the early part of the spring summer with the weather, to the fund raising.

Megan and I are so thankful to all of those that have provided us with both financial support and encouragement since we first started the planning for joining this year Relay. From family to friends to complete strangers that have given of both their money and time, we are eternally thank full, it is your faith and trust that have helped keep us focused on the goal in hand, finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes.

We are promising to try and keep everyone up to date on our progress, for this final week prior to the ride as well as once we are on the road. A number of social networking tools are being used that will let folks track our progress and get ongoing updates, besides this blog, there are a number of tools listed at

Over the last few days I have been doing a count down on my face book profile, the following is today's;

In 7 days Megan and I will be leaving for Quebec City to join the National Relay with and start our ride back to Nova Scotia. In respect to those 7 days here are 7 things that my daughter hates about diabetes;

1. The way some people believe that she or her parents could have done something to prevent her from becoming Type 1 diabetic.
2. Always having to do a finger poke to draw blood to test blood sugar levels 5-10times a day
3. Fruit Punch - especially at 3:am to treat a low blood sugar
4. Having to explain to a teacher/karate judge etc that the alarm that went off is not her cell phone but her insulin pump
5. Carrying a bag full of supplies, blood tester, insulin, pump infusion sets, a scale, extra lancets, alcohol swabs...
6. Weight all her food.
7. The belief (by those that don't know her that there are things she cannot do! Run track and field, play fiddle, blue belt in karate, straight A student.....Cycle from Quebec City to Nova Scotia

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Halifax Waterfront Spin

Seems like forever since I updated this blog. Not really sure where the time is going but summer is speeding by. Megan and I are well into our preparations for the National Relay coming up in just under a months time. Flights are booked to Quebec City, fundraising is coming along, and physical prep is pretty much there, though at this point not much I can to be any more ready (short of finding a way to roll back a few years off the knees).

As part of our fund raising efforts we held a stationary spin event down on the Halifax waterfront last thurs the 28th of July. We had a great setup and we were right next to the ferry terminal, even the weather cooperated a little and it did not rain.

We met a ton of really great folks, from other type 1 diabetics to family members and friends. There were even a couple of people with type 2 diabetes that after talking with Megan, left feeling more inspired to look after themselves, test more and start watching what they eat and exercise more. If for no other reason this event was worth every minute on the bike.

At the end of the day we had collected about $500.00 in donations, spent about 7.5 hours peddling and logged more than 200km on the bike.