August 1, 2009 sunrise, North Cape PEI

August 1, 2009 sunrise, North Cape PEI

Each year, a group of avid bicyclists travel Prince Edward Island from ‘tip to tip’ as a fundraiser for school breakfast programs.  This year, for the first time, I joined the event as a support vehicle volunteer.  And it was an amazing ride!

The Biking For Breakfast Challenge is the brainchild of one high energy, incredibly affable man by the name of Ken Trenholm.  Ken also is a founding member and one of the driving forces of the Summerside Cycling Club.

The Challenge begins bright and early at North Cape and concludes in the evening at East Point.  This year’s route, with refueling station placements, was 284.7 kilometres in length.  117 riders were registered; 97 of them took the challenge.  Lots of money was raised.

North Cape to East Point bike route, Prince Edward Island

North Cape to East Point bike route, Prince Edward Island

Photo Op at the Starting Line

Photo Op at the Starting Line

Support Vehicle Volunteers worked in pairs to provide any support needed by the riders — moral support and encouragement, tire tubes, water, directions, rubs and stretches, and just about any other request they threw at us.

Collection of blown tubes

Collection of blown tubes

There were quite a few tire repairs en route, a detour due to a motor vehicle accident, a water shortage during the heat of early afternoon, and at one point I had a rider on her back roadside while I stretched her aching backside muscles.  It was a demanding job but it was so much fun; the riders were incredibly courteous and appreciative, making it a total pleasure to  assist them.

Four of the participants were doing the ride for the second day in a row! Uh huh, yes.  On Friday they rode East Point to North Cape — ten hours of cycling time — and completed the return trip on Saturday.  Their heart rate monitors were registering over 11,000 calories expended each day.

Twisted Shifter Team Jersey

Twisted Shifter Team Jersey, John MacQuarrie

Finbar's Irish Pub, in the first finishing group. Zuska Ecerova, Cameron Thorne, Geoff Murray

Finbar's Irish Pub Team at the Start. They were in the first group of 7 at the Finish Line. Zuska Ecerova, Cameron Thorne, Geoff Murray

Leaving Portage Refueling Stop

Leaving Portage Refueling Stop

St Peter's Refueling Stop

St Peter's Refueling Stop

Rob Chambers approaching the East Point finish.  Amazing energy in those legs!

#52 Rob Chambers of Halifax approaching the East Point finish. Amazing energy in those legs still!

Each and every one of the cyclists on that course was an inspiration.  Determination and courage, stamina married with generous spirits, personal bars raised high and minds sharply focused on propelling themselves beyond personal limits.

I spent a phenomenal Saturday among people who are the embodiment of fitness; cyclists and volunteers shiny and bright in the quality of their humanity.

Am I not I blessed?

Finish Line Jubilation

Finish Line Jubilation

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.”

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