LETTER OF THE ISSUE
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.