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NIR 2013 – Barrie ON

Barrie Gang

It’ll fit.  This is our motto when bringing what we know is going to be a hugely attended event to a new venue.  With fingers crossed behind our backs because we know Barrie…we know Candlelighters.  All the stuff will get in the door but the spirit of these incredible people will be spilling out every opening.  There will be no quiet golf claps happening at this function. Slight chance of a “quiet please” sign being held up to calm the rowdies.

Cheryl from Candlelighters, as always, set the tone of the event.  This is a woman who speaks from her soul and from her experiences.  We all need to connect with our why just before the pedals start to turn.  Quietly reflect for a moment about what’s important.  What we can do.

To say there were a few kids present would be like saying hardly any showed up last week in Disneyland.  The place was crawling with little ones, medium sized ones, ones that are crazy taller than last year.  Our bikes are adult sized and it’s not often that little legs can reach pedals.  On this occasion however, special arrangements were made so smaller bikes were brought in and set up for the six teams of survivors and supporters, friends and buddies to ride.  For the spillover, a dance floor.

Josh, however, is finally now lanky enough to be a big bike rider.  He’s been attending his big brothers Inside Rides and aching to get on a bike himself.  He’s come right out of the woods and onto a bike.  There with his family and now a full fledged “camper” having been to Camp Ooch in Muskoka, he rode like the last day of grade three before summer.

Barrie Kids

Kids go nuts when experiencing something like this with one best buddy.  We’ve seen it right across the country.  Tight friendships that have weathered scary and very grown up waters. There together to personify that key component of friendship, support.  It’s something else all together when you bring ALL your buddies.  Was similar to a good old fashioned New Years Eve party where the kids get to have their own simultaneous side-party.

Childhood Cancer is unique to everyone touched by it.  It’s not something that happens and you just move on from like a flu or a broken wrist.  The experiences become who you are.  Deeply.  And everyone carries on in their own exclusive way. Brittany Murray a two-time cancer survivor, through speaking about it and Karyssa Enick representing survivorship through song.

As with many rides held at golf clubs, you can’t usually swing a bike pump without hitting a wedding rehearsal.  We were standing by ready to offer up the Rollin’ Slick Chicks with their hot pink evening gloves and twinkly tees as bridesmaids.  The mighty Brandon Straughan for bouncer muscle if their wedding guests got out of hand.  What the heck, everyone there had such good Gangnam Style, they should be plunked down into a wedding party immediately following their Inside Ride.

And just so you know, happy engaged couple who are still probably trying to figure out what happened, Josh’s “Whens the next one?” was about us, not you.  Congratulations anyway!