David Holgate

Rider

Age: 

60

Hometown: 

Calgary, Alberta

Occupation: 

Lawyer

What is your bike's name?: 

Bayard

What is your level of experience with cycling?: 

Intermediate

How many years have you done the peloton ride?: 

This is my first Peloton ride.

Why are you riding in the peloton?: 

I first thought about it as something I might do someday as a chance to raise money doing something I enjoy. When I got diagnosed with cancer and started to meet those who were much worse off and struggling after treatment it was no longer just a maybe; it became something I had to do. The positive impact of Wellspring on those dealing with cancer is nothing short of amazing and I am proud to ride to support it and all those facing or recovering from cancer. Having Lewiston as the destination was icing on the cake. Can't wait to get there.

What are your top 5 inspirational songs you listen to while riding?: 

I don't listen to music on the road. When training indoors on my Computrainer I listen to anything with a strong beat. The closest thing to inspirational music would be for post-training stretching and includes "Runner" (Manfred Mann's Earth Band) to remind me that I "will surely cross the line"; "Broken Arrow" (Robbie Robertson); "You Are Loved (Don't Give Up)" (Josh Groban); Let It Be (Beatles, Album Version); The Riddle (Five for Fighting).

Who are you riding for?: 

In memory of friends who lost the battle; in support of those who are still fighting it; for my warrior; and for myself, because it is something I have to do. Sounds maudlin, doesn't it? That is what I would have thought before I was diagnosed with cancer and before I met so many who are affected by it. Not anymore. I understand now.

What do you hope to get out of the experience this year?: 

Satisfaction and some sustaining memories.

What are you looking forward to most?: 

I am looking forward to the challenge, the camaraderie and cycling through Maine. An additional benefit will be a couple of uninterrupted weeks cycling with my wife, Jenny, who is also part of the Peloton.

What is your biggest fear for this journey?: 

That something will prevent me from starting it.

How have you been affected by cancer?: 

Cancer has killed or disrupted the lives of friends and family. It has affected me directly through diagnosis, surgery and a slow recovery.

If you have cancer, what is your diagnosis?: 

Prostate cancer. This is the most difficult question to answer because were it not for the Peloton Project, I would not have disclosed my diagnosis outside my immediate family. Keeping the diagnosis secret while riding to raise awareness of the need for cancer support programs seemed more than a little inconsistent, but disclosure was still very difficult.

What treatments have you undergone?: 

Radical prostatectomy (removal of the prostate and anything else that looked sketchy). It looks like I have avoided the need for chemo or radiation.

If cancer walked into the room, what would you say to it?: 

Take a good look around because your days are numbered. No matter how strong you think you are, ultimately we are stronger and you will be defeated. In the meantime, since you are here, feel free to help yourself to some of this tasty chemo and radiation.

What makes you pedal harder—(when the riding gets tough, what do you think about)?: 

Nothing anyone would be interested in - mainly I just focus on power and cadence and remind myself that the exertion never hurts more than quitting.

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