Did I leave my legs behind on Cypress?! Another Recycle Ride conquered!

Recycle Ride 2016 SL August 21 at 02-18-31

This year’s Golden Sombrero route was a little tamer than the past couple of years, but not by much. 120 kilometres and 3300 metres of vertical made for a challenging 7-hour ride. However, our small but mighty group of riders finished the day with smiles. And most importantly, conquering the bigger goal of raising money for pediatric transplant research. Addison was the lead cheerleader of the day, welcoming the riders with her signature moves. It was the perfect motivation to keep those pedals going right until the end.

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We were also really excited about the transplant community picnic at the finish line. This was something new this year, thanks to our very motivated double lung transplant buddy Margaret Benson with the Canadian Transplant Association. Along with BC Transplant and the Transplant Research Foundation of BC, these three groups came together to put on a fun afternoon.

And now on to the most exciting news…announcing our grand total…

♥ ♥ ♥ $5725 ♥ ♥ ♥

Woohoo!!!!! We are so thankful for all the support from friends, family, local businesses, colleagues and our transplant community. A special shout out to our co-organizers, Sheena and Adam Lee. This started with Adam and Aaron’s little idea for a slightly insane bike ride, and this year they really took over the reins. (We were a little preoccupied with the arrival of baby Charlie!) We wouldn’t be here without all their hard work and dedication to the cause. It is pretty amazing to see how far we’ve come, and we can only get bigger and better next year, which means even more funding for pediatric transplant research. Together we are making a difference in the lives of kids just like Addison.

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Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Love,
Elaine, Aaron, Addison and Charlie

PS It’s never too late to DONATE! 🙂

Thanks for an awesome night of fun and fundraising!!

Wow…we are still a little overwhelmed with how fantastic our first ever beer and burger pub night went down on Monday!! Thank you to everyone who was able to come out to Stateside Craft, and thank you to all those who weren’t able to make it but bought raffle tickets, bid in our silent auction, or made a donation. (By the way, never too late to donate!) IMG_20160815_191037

Poor Adam (our trusty main organizer) later admitted he felt a little sick to his stomach in the hours leading up to 6pm. We just weren’t sure if anyone was actually going to show up…though thankfully the Yong clan in Vancouver is rather large so we knew we could count on at least 8 or 9 or 10 of my family members to bolster the numbers. But you came, and you bought hundreds of raffle tickets, and lots of Addison chocolate bars too. (Hard to resist when a precocious 5-year old fundraising shark is hitting you up for donations.) And we all had an amazing evening.

Last but not least, we are especially thankful to all the businesses, colleagues, friends and community members who supported us with donations of fantastic items for our raffle and online auction. We couldn’t have done it without your generosity!

We are still tallying up the numbers and will have a total to announce next week, after the big bike ride. Oh yeah, that thing. The event that started is all is yet to happen. This SUNDAY, August 21 starting at 7am at Rupert Park! Get all the details HERE. Riders are still welcome to join our small and dedicated gang of crazies.

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If you aren’t that insane, come to the finish line at Rupert Park for another first – the first-ever transplant community family picnic! We will be cheering on the riders as they finish their 120-km tour of four North Shore peaks.

Transplant Picnic Poster

Hope to see you on Sunday!!

 

 

The 3rd Annual Recycle Ride (a.k.a The Golden Sombrero)

Get ready to suffer for a great cause!

The Recycle Ride, also known affectionately as the Golden Sombrero, is full on suffering…but in a good way.  It will test your strength on the bike and give you a chance to have a great time on a memorable group ride of the North Shore. This is the third edition of the Sombrero – four climbs spanning 120 kilometres through North and West Vancouver. We tackle the traditional Triple Crown -Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress – but we throw in another climb in the Seymour/Lynn Valley Headwaters…just for fun.

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Here it is! 120 km with 3200 meters of climbing

Since the first ride, the Sombrero has grown to become the main fundraising event for the Addison Fund at the Transplant Research Foundation of BC. My daughter Addison became desperately sick when she was just three weeks old. Her heart was failing, and according to doctors the only option was a heart transplant. In May of 2011 she became the youngest person to ever receive a heart transplant in BC. The surgery was just the beginning of what has become a lifelong journey for our whole family. Addison is now five and thriving, living a full life after transplant. But transplant isn’t a cure. It is a treatment. We want to change that. By dedicating our efforts to raising money specifically for pediatric transplant research, we are confident we can change patient outcomes and help these kids grow into adults with long, healthy lives.

In our first year on a hot day in August, six riders tackled the route and raised just over $2500 for pediatric transplant research.

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By the time our second year rolled around, our fundraising efforts continued to grow. The Addison Fund had become the kickstarter for a national pediatric transplant research project. Partners from across the country have come on board to help fund a national team grant. However, things did not go quite as well from a riding standpoint. Pouring rain (the first in a long, hot, dry summer) washed out the ride.

We still managed 80 km and two of the four climbs. It was a strong effort by a dozen riders who started in East Vancouver. We doubled our ridership, and more than doubled our fund raising targets.

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This year by pushing the date back to the end of the August we hope to catch some great weather. There is no entry fee for the event – we need as many people on bikes as we can get. We do please ask that if you are clipping in, you make a donation to the Addison Fund at Transplant Research Foundation of BC.  Remember, we are not a Fondo. We are not a race.  We are a social ride made up of people who want to test their limits on a bicycle – and have a beer or two afterwards to brag about the accomplishment.  If this sounds like fun, email us: therecycleride@gmail.com

When life gives you rain, you make rainbows. Thank you to everyone for making the Recycle Ride a success!

Even with a few fairweather drop-outs, what an awesome turnout for the Recycle Ride!

Even with a few fairweather drop-outs, what an awesome turnout for the Recycle Ride!

After a gazillion days of gorgeous sunshine, the rains arrived in the Lower Mainland with a vengeance. Exactly at the same time as our Recycle Ride for pediatric transplant research. Rivers of water on slick road do not make for fun or safe descents from killer climbs, and we actually weren’t even sure if any riders would show up at 7am this morning. Well, we were so excited, honoured and touched to come around the corner of the JJ Bean on Commercial Drive to see an awesome group of people. Wow! And even more impressive…they were prepared to go for a ride.

The cheer team at the first rest stop.

The cheer team at the first rest stop.

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We decided right away to kill all the butt-kicking climbs due to safety and everyone agreed to just see how it went as the morning progressed. Of course, 15 minutes after the cyclists took off, the skies really opened up. By the time they arrived at the first rest stop 28km later, they were drenched. And at the next rest stop, the decision was made to end the Recycle Ride at Grouse Mountain. Not quite the 160km, four-crazy-climb, full-day event we had been planning for, but life doesn’t always work out the way you want. You just do the best you can, and have as much fun as you can. I think we accomplished that today!

Addison loved “her bike ride”, as she calls it. She had a great time cheering on the riders despite the wet weather, and she kept the support team thoroughly entertained while hanging out in the support van, refusing to take off her PJs all day. She makes it easy to see the bright side of things, no matter how bleak things may look. Doesn’t the sun always come out after the storm? And of course, it certainly did exactly that. Vancouver weather!!!!

Grouse Mountain - the rainy day end of the Recycle Ride.

Grouse Mountain – the rainy day end of the Recycle Ride.

Next year, we are going to have an even more incredible event. Our experience this second time around made us realize we have a great community of riders, supporters, transplant family, friends, loved ones and family. A big thank you to each and every one who took part today, and to our sponsors: Canadian Transplant Association, Price-Smart Foods (Grandview), Superstore (Marine Drive).

What an awesome team!

What an awesome team!

And a big hug and thank you to all our generous donors who gave to the Addison Pediatric Transplant Research Fund. You make it possible for us to help support researchers who are giving hope to families like us. Transplant isn’t a cure, but we know we can get there. (And if you haven’t donated, it’s never too late!! Click HERE.)

Much love and thanks,
Elaine, Aaron and Addison

Wearing your heart on your sleeve…

…or at least your support of organ donation! We are in the process of ordering custom cycling jerseys for the Recycle Ride. Cost will be $60 CDN. Personalization is possible for an extra $5. How cool would it be to have “Heart transplant recipient” or “A donor saved my daughter’s life!” on your jersey?? Men’s and women’s race and club cuts, and children’s cuts are available (all the same price). Sizing chart is HERE.

Still a few tweaks in the works but this is a pretty good idea of how it will look. We will move the “We heart Addison” to the left sleeve and the Canadian Transplant Association logo will go on that back pocket. Personalization will be on the back on top of the recycling symbol.

SS cycling jersey (Elaine Yong) 20150605

We are also planning to order the design on technical fabric running singlet/tanks ($40) and/or short sleeved shirts ($46). Let us know by MONDAY JUNE 8 if you are interested in placing an order. We are working on a tight deadline so we can get them before the ride.

A little suffering goes a long way

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Halfway up Cypress

Good things come from small ideas. Our insanity started out as nothing more than that. We wanted to ride our bikes on about as challenging a route as we could think of, and so the Golden Sombrero was born. The sombrero is a baseball term – the ignominious act of striking out four times in one game.  So our version is riding up four mountains in one 100-mile day.  It is both awesome and awful at the same time.

Regrouping at the Top

Regrouping at the Top

There were moments last year I wanted to get off my bike, but we made it. Mostly. Six of us started out, five finished, and in the process we raised $1500 for the Addison Fund to support transplant research.

The Route

The Route

This year we are hoping to surpass that fundraising goal and encourage new riders. If you are interested in tackling a serious cycling challenge you should join us. But we get it – not everyone is a glutton for punishment. So we will have  second route called the Sombrero Pequeno, slightly more sane… 60 km with one big climb to prove you are slightly mad.

You can find all the details of the Golden Sombrero 2015 here. If you want to commit email us @ therecycleride@gmail.com  Or at least donate some money.