Gwen Dawes Harker

Rider

Age: 

38

Hometown: 

Red Deer, Alberta

Occupation: 

Teacher

What is your bike's name?: 

Baby

What is your level of experience with cycling?: 

Beginner

How many years have you done the peloton ride?: 

First Peloton ride

Why are you riding in the peloton?: 

My crazy (but amazing) sister convinced my husband and I to participate in the Challenge Ride in October. To prepare for this we needed to attend a meeting in Calgary where we would learn more about the event and our role as challenge riders. After listening to the presentation, and meeting both the Cancervive/Wellspring organizers, and some Cancer Warriors, I knew I wanted to take part in the Peloton Ride. My reasonings were simple: 1. I am healthy. 2. Nothing can stop me from being able to do this, but my own self 3. Pain goes away. 4. I love a challenge. 5. Being a difference maker feels good. 6. I didn't really have a good enough answer to Why not? The journey to becoming prepared has been amazing, and I am so eager to actually get started. I just hope my bum is as ready for the 6hr days as my mind is!

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

1.Kelly Clarkson - Stronger 2. Eye of the Tiger 3. Beautiful Day - U2 4. You Get What You Give - New Radicals 5. Standing Outside the Fire - Garth Brooks

Who are you riding for?: 

Everyone and anyone who can benefit from my experience either directly or indirectly.

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

The satisfaction of making a difference.

What are you looking forward to most?: 

Accomplishing what I have spent the last 10 months working hard for. From fundraising challenges, to learning to ride challenges, to overcoming my own fears. Crossing the finish line, achieving my goal of raising $10 000, meeting the people, and sharing our stories for the rest of my life...sounds pretty good to me :)

What is your biggest fear for this journey?: 

Pain. Without a doubt pain. There are so many little things to learn that can make a huge difference in the amount of pain one does not need to feel. From a proper diet, to proper seating, proper pedal strokes...and I even learned you are not supposed to wear underwear under riding shorts, and they make numb bum cream for long rides!!!

How have you been affected by cancer?: 

I have not had any direct or indirect experiences with Cancer. I am a cancer newbie, who has only just become truly informed as a result of my experiences as a peloton rider.

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

We will continue to fight. You can not take away our hope. You are powerless against our will. We will survive. We will conquer. Go straight to hell.

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.

Tell Your Friends!