Thursday, 14 March 2013

The first forty kilometres

I used to play a very fun computer game back in the day called "Road Rash." The premise was that you were a street racing motorcyclist attempting to beat several competitors on the highway. While avoiding passing motorists and other hazards, you had to fend off attacks from opposing racers, who were equipped with bats, pipes, and chains.

Yesterday I hit the mean streets of Abbotsford and rode my first 40 km day. It wasn't too bad, but it's a far cry from the longest day in Europe (130 km). I think I might start carrying a baseball bat, or at least some pepper spray. While trying to share the road with passing garbage trucks and irate drivers, I was chased by two very hungry looking Rottweilers. I've got to thank wounded warriors for setting me up with a fast enough bike, or I might have been dog food.

Thanks for all the help Rob!
Speaking of thanking people, I really need to thank Rob Wright with South Shore Cycle for completely fitting and assembling my Cervelo S2.

I'd also like to thank my sister Natasha and Mike Porter at Cadence Vancouver for all the training tips and free spin classes. Seriously, if you're interested in an intense 45 minute workout, check them out.

The gears are moving, and I've realized just how soon it is until I'm going to be riding for real. However, I think I'm starting to pick up some momentum, and I should be in fine shape soon enough. Everyone, thanks again for the awesome feedback and encouragement in regards to the blog, and the whole project in general. I have some fun ideas for fundraising, with most of them involving beer and chicken wings, so I'll keep you all posted as we get along. Also, if you pass by an awkward looking cyclist dressed in all back and green long underwear (I don't have proper leggings yet), please be gracious and don't run me off the road.


Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Hitting the ground running

A few weeks ago, I camped overnight on Sumas mountain with two of my best friends, Bryan and Joel. The morning before we left, I organized the equipment on my bed in preparation. To my surprise, I discovered that my camp pillow was covered in a layer of film! That's when I realized I hadn't used my pillow in the last three years, and it was still covered in the moon dust that had permeated through every single possession I owned while serving overseas in Afghanistan. 
Our Gunner Ollie and myself enjoying a free moment.
It's been almost three years since I boarded a Hercules and left Kandahar airfield, yet still the dust has not entirely settled. How do you fulfill your desire for adventure when the climax of your life seems to have passed when you were only twenty three? Exactly how does one apply the specific skills of an infantry soldier in the civilian world? (well I am quite good at digging holes and cleaning things).

Even more disheartening is the sad news of brothers who have passed. In the last three years, three good men I have personally known and served with have taken their own lives with complications related to Operational Stress Injuries. 

On May 27th to June 2nd 2013, I will be participating as the only representative for British Columbia in the BIG BATTLEFIELD BIKE RIDE 2013 with a team of veterans from across Canada. We will be joining thousands of participants in a six day tour across Europe, starting in Paris, and ending in London. Along the way, we will pass through several of the most significant battlefields in World War One and Two. 

I am being sponsored by Wounded Warriors Canada, a non-profit organization that helps Canadian Forces members who have been wounded or injured in their service to Canada. 
I am asking that you would stand alongside me and help sponsor me as a rider. Although some of the funds will go to cover the cost of the trip, the remainder will go towards increasing the awareness and support for those suffering from Operational Stress Injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

To all of my family, friends, associates, and co-workers out there, thank you for your support, and I would ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayer as we prepare for this trip. 

John Lowe.

My Cervelo S2 on loan from
Wounded Warriors. Can you believe
they're trusting me with this beauty?
Anything is greatly appreciated, and if you would like to donate:

1. please follow the link to the: Wounded Warriors Donation Profile 

2. Fill in your donation amount.

3. Under Fund/Designation, select *BBBR2013 in support of John Lowe

4. Follow the easy steps through and make sure you get a tax receipt!