A Historical, Fun, and Emotional Cycling Adventure
This past June 4 TCoB members (Wendy Fretz, Glen Innes, Greg Button and Shawna Button) embarked on a cycling journey. A journey organized through the Wounded Warriors Canada, and by Magic Places Cycling Adventures.
We rode 560 km over 7 days starting from Vimy Ridge and ending in Nijmegen Netherlands. During this ride we gained fitness, but we also gained insight into the effects of PTSD, and our Canadian history.
We had the opportunity to meet veterans and hear their stories. We met Mother’s riding for their son’s who were killed while on duty, sisters riding for their grandfather who served in WWII, serving members of the forces from Canada and Australia, and the Dutch Wounded Warrior team.
We even had our own Padre and historians with us.
Please read what Wendy and Glen have to say about our adventure…
This spring I had the privilege of riding through France, Belgium and the Netherlands with an inspiring group of people, helping to raise funds for an organization called Wounded Warriors. This organization supports servicemen and women dealing with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).
When I first signed up for the trip, I was excited about visiting historic WW1 and WW2 sites, and the opportunity of learning about Canadian history, all the while riding through beautiful countryside, villages and towns. I wanted the opportunity to ride (we averaged 80 km a day) as much as I could, and all these things did happen.
What I did not expect, was to meet and become part of a community of people that had a tremendous affect on me. They taught me more about my country’s history than I ever knew. There were times when I could not understand the emotions being displayed around me, and other times when I was overwhelmed. I saw evidence of the darkest part of mankind, but more miraculous was the evidence of the incredible courage, compassion and resiliency of mankind. I learned more of what it is to be Canadian, and how we are truly loved and honoured in these countries, and I was proud. I met people from the military community, which was foreign to me, and have made life-long friends. I heard stories of everyday heroes, and I realized I was riding with some everyday. Men and women who may not have defended and protected me personally, but protected people like me. They have risked and sacrificed, and it has cost them. Their healing is so gradual it comes in shades of change. Some know their healing may never be complete and live with that knowledge, but they still celebrate life.
So yes, I was changed and challenged in many ways. You can’t help but be changed when you’re around that type of courage.
The 2015, Wounded Warriors Canada, Battlefield Bike ride is now in the books. It was quite a journey ( with some bumps and bruises) crossing 3 countries, traveling over 560km over 7 days, and visiting some of the most hallowed and sacred ground in Canadian history.
I am a big believer in the thought that healthy bodies equals a healthy minds and that physical exercise, especially cycling, helps minimize the effects of PTSD. I also believe that if we can get more Canadian Forces Members,who are suffering from these forms of injuries, riding bikes it will help them in the long run. Cycling not only promotes a healthy body but is a very social activity as well. Riding over 7 days with serving, retired veterans, and 1st responders , suffering from various forms of injuries has allowed me to personally understand the true severity of what someone struggling with PSTD goes through. It has also allowed me to see the positive effects that cycling has had on their lives and to hear 1st hand accounts of what it was that got them to this point. I take great pride in the fact that I can make a difference in someones life by riding alongside and listening to what ever it is that they want to share.
We at Cervelo are extremely proud to be part of what Wounded Warriors Canada has accomplished over the last couple of years, with over $1,000,000 ($500,000 and counting this year alone) raised to support programming to support Canadian Forces members and their families suffering from Operational Stress Injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
This charity is near and dear to my heart and I look forward to sharing some more stories with all of you out on the road.
Honour the Fallen Help the Living