When a child needs his wish
It’s raining now, the late night air is damp and cold along the St-Lawrence River. I keep my speed at a reasonable pace, there is no destination, only a journey. I’m surprised that my energy level is still good after so many hours. I did train a lot this summer, but still, I’m now far beyond my limits.
The darkness is the curtain, the silence an embrace to put the mind to rest from its usual hectic wanderings. I can see downtown Montreal if I glance left from the path, tall buildings lit but empty from the usual pace of modern professional life. You would find me there normally. Not this night though.
I reach for my jersey’s back pocket. If I learned anything, it’s that I need to eat often. The cereal bar is a familiar taste, too sweet and slightly nauseating after having so many. I look forward to stopping later at the event tent and grabbing a ham sandwich. Small concerns.
Again the mind wonders. I look up to the starry sky. My two young stars are sleeping now. Their mom watches. I’m truly blessed.
The path widens as I near the northern part of the circuit. I catch up with another rider, his tail light blinking red from afar, strangely in sync with his pedaling cadence. We exchange a quick salutation and word of encouragement as I come to his level. I smile and wave, it is 4:30am and we all need some encouragement.
As I pass him I wonder what his own reasons are. Maybe he knows someone, in another family, or his own child? Or like me, just wanting to do his part. Remembering the stories and testimonials of children receiving their wishes, I hold back the roller coaster of emotions felt then.
There is a long straight after the chicane which brings me south now. It is the busier section of the event. I soon reach the paddocks where all the teams including my own have set up camp, tents and cots. Most 1500 riders are sleeping now, but a few brave souls are dishing out encouragement to the riders on duty. The main event tent is there, I can smell my sandwich. A few more laps though. A child needs his wish.
My bike computer states 265km ridden so far. I stop by the side of the path and take a quick selfie which I text to the friends and colleagues who have generously contributed to this fundraising. Thank you so much.
In September 2016, KnowledgeOne participated for its first time in the 48 Hours Make-a-Wish Quebec bike ride in Montreal and sent a team of 6 riders to raise funds which support granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions providing them and their families with hope, strength and joy. The team did great too, as it raised more than 6,000$ and rode a total of 1,135km.