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NIR 2013 – Prince George BC

Logistically, the whole National Inside Ride Tour crew can’t be at every event.  Logically, this makes sense.  Emotionally, it sucks wheel.  These are our babies.  Can you imagine missing your baby’s first birthday?  Inside Ride Event/Program Coordinator Jenn Davies had to be back in Toronto for some major ramping up of all the rides coming down the pipe there.  Prince George was her royal baby but we got to introduce him to the world.

First time events can be a bit confusing in that the experience of a first ride is something  that cant be explained.  You kind of have to do one before you get it.  We caught a bit of event promotion on the local radio station as we drove into town and didn’t understand ourselves this thing they were talking about.  It’s that unique.

Something about the energy in Prince George seemed very much like they’d done this before.  Something in the way it was explained resonated with them and they were ready, waiting and eager to go when we rolled in.  Correction…..go, go, go, go, go.

PG set upHere’s a sneak peek into what engaged volunteerism means…..we were fully set up and ready to go well over an hour before start time.  Hey-Ohhh!!  And another peek but into fate…one of the first people we met was 2010 National Rider Peggy Tobin.  Not there for the event but just heading to work. She happened to be introduced to us because we were chatting about Newfoundland.  That always happens when you are talking about Newfoundland, someone will point out the nearest Newf.  Having a Coast To Coast family member showing up is like finding a tulip in a carrot garden.  Delightfully out of left field. She stayed of course.

The Spruce Kings showed up in full force and full uniform sans protective gear.  Not going to lie, young men in uniforms when there are medals involved can be a concern but these guys were a class act and representative of what hockey players with the potential to go big league need to be.  Respectful, positive, and present.  They started a conga line, for *Don’s sake!  Either these guys were just awesome and into it or we’ve not been caught up on the newest forms of dry-land training.  Prince George is a powerhouse of athletic talent.  These events are going to get unbelievably Canadian as we grow them.  Jotted down a quick note to bring a puck to drop before we start the event next year.

DSC_0451Another tight team there to ride had a hot dog captain.  New York Fries was not a couple french fries short of an order.  They were fully there.  We can’t say enough good things about this organization and how their support allows us to maintain a 100% donation model. When a local owner like this shows up though, our love for our title sponsors grows like a hot franchise.  To see them there as a company, as a sponsor but also as a family was wonderful.  Last of the people to leave because even after all that involvement, Dustin still found room to help with the last of the excruciating penny counting.  Witnessed by his 17 day old small fry baby boy.

After the truck was packed up, we stopped and watched the other less small fry of Dustin’s do laps around the gymnasium.  When a kid is unleashed and left to do what’s natural, the just go.  Forward motion, determination, no brakes.  With an intuitive sense of what she might need to continue, she’d stop, dig an apple out of the box, fang it and keep running. It’s the cruelest of worlds that takes this away from kids.  Physically absolutely it is.  But the core of all little apples is that round and round, keep going until you are pooped spunk.  Just keeping going is natural and normal and built into the DNA of every child.  Over and over we see and understand more about how these are the building blocks to heros.  Fighters.  Survivors.  Doing whats natural.  Giving their all.  Go, go, go, go, go.

*Don Cherry