Even though VSB Education Coordinator Barbara Anderson's "trike" was about 40 lbs or more heavier than the other bikes (making the long hill climbs that much more difficult) in the long multiday ride, she says she never considered giving up. Anderson was one of 2,600 riders this summer who completed the epic Ride to Conquer Cancer, which took her from Vancouver to Seattle.
Her secret weapons were bite sized candy available at any grocery store.
"I found that gatorade and M&Ms with peanut butter kept me going for the 250 km," she says.
Although the weather was incredibly hot, Anderson says the ride was gorgeous. As she maneuvered her trike through the farmland of Washington, she couldn't help but take in the picturesque views of Mount Baker, lush forests and quaint "All American" villages that dotted the road.
In between pedal strokes, Anderson says she frequently found herself thinking about family members who were still battling cancer "with dignity and humour."
VSB Director of Education Denise Johnson works everyday with Anderson. She says that Anderson's commitment to bettering the lives of people around her is a defining characteristic.
"Barbara is a very thoughtful person who quietly commits to improving the lives of others without any interest in personal recognition or fame," said Johnson. "She is an inspiration to us all."
Although Anderson placed last in the ride, she over-achieved when it came to fundraising, managing to raise $2,670, which was $170 more than she set out to raise.
The money Anderson and other Ride to Conquer Cancer riders raised will go to the BC Cancer Foundation. This year, close to $10 million was raised to help with cancer research.
Anderson says she wants to thank everyone who supported her ride.