Canadian Cycling Magazine - - LETTERS -

A heal­ing ride A good friend was do­ing well af­ter his bout with prostate can­cer. I was get­ting ready for a Sun­day ride with my team and opened the news­pa­per just be­fore I left. It opened to the obituaries. I saw his name in the obituaries and was ab­so­lutely dis­traught. What! Not him. Oh no. I did not want to miss the ride so I headed out the door with my bike and gear and ar­rived at the point of de­par­ture. I got ready to ride and re­al­ized I had for­got­ten my hel­met. A team mem­ber loaned me one of hers. When I came to the fork in the road, there were tears in my eyes for the loss of a dear friend and I could not re­mem­ber which way to turn. I went the wrong way and had no idea where I was. I rode and rode with tears stream­ing down my face. The af­ter­noon was mov­ing on and the sun was in the sky, which I tried to use to ori­ent my my­self. The only thing I could do was pedal and pedal and not stop, like the tears. The sun­light was shin­ing through the trees. The roads had few cars.

In the dis­tance, two rid­ers ap­peared. They had been out search­ing for me to make sure I was safe and could find my way back to the start. By this time, the tears had cleared. I ex­plained what had hap­pened.

It was one of the most heal­ing rides – just me and my bike and mem­o­ries, tears and sun­light. What a gift a bi­cy­cle and a bike ride can be.

Each time I ride, I re­mem­ber my good friend and all those who lost their lives to can­cer. I con­tinue to ride be­cause I am healthy and I can. Twenty-four years ago, I was di­ag­nosed with and treated for ade­noid cys­tic car­ci­noma of the right parotid gland. Now, I look for­ward to the 2018 Ride to Con­quer Can­cer and con­tinue to train in­doors in the cold and rainy months and hit the road as soon as the weather

is clear. The ride is my way to give back for the gift of life I’ve re­ceived. There is not a ride when I do not think of my friend and his courage, strength and zest for life. And that time we stopped for tea and Ar­row­root bis­cuits. Mary Jane Mc­k­een Rich­mond Hill, Ont.

Bet­ter bread I have just read your ar­ti­cle about bread in the April/may is­sue. For a few years in a row my an­nual phys­i­cal iden­ti­fied low iron. This con­di­tion is some­thing com­mon in my fam­ily. We took sup­ple­ments to cor­rect it. My doc­tor, how­ever, sug­gested I see a spe­cial­ist to see if there was a per­ma­nent so­lu­tion. I was sur­prised by his di­ag­no­sis and rec­om­mended so­lu­tion.

His first ques­tion was, “What kind of bread do you eat?” I told him that it was whole wheat. He said that as much as a third of the pop­u­la­tion has lower iron counts than they should be­cause whole wheat bread sup­presses the body’s abil­ity to ab­sorb iron. In my case, it was quite a se­ri­ous prob­lem, but his so­lu­tion was sim­ply to switch to white bread or sour­dough. I did that three years ago and my iron count has been nor­mal since then. I thought my ex­pe­ri­ence might be use­ful to other read­ers. John Brit­tain Edmonton

From truck to bike It all started i n Novem­ber 2015. I de­cided to change the life­style that came with be­ing a truck driver. I started spinning five days a week for al­most five months. I lost 30 lb. and de­cided to buy a bike. In the sum­mer of 2016, I put about 650 km on my bike, in­clud­ing my very first 100 km for men­tal health. Win­ter then ar­rived, dur­ing which I worked on get­ting stronger, los­ing more weight and up­grad­ing my wheels.

I cre­ated a team with a dear friend for this year’s Ride Don’t Hide. We reached 22 rid­ers and raised in more than $6,500. I was also part of the Ride Don’t Hide event com­mit­tee. I’m clos­ing in on 2,000 km on my bike. I ride as much as I can and I love it. Morris Bel­lus Vaughan, Ont.

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