Tom Zavesiczky

Rider

Nickname: 

Tommy Zee

Age: 

55

Hometown: 

Calgary, Alberta

Occupation: 

Retired Geologist

What is your bike's name?: 

Friendly Giant

What is your level of experience with cycling?: 

Advanced

How many years have you done the peloton ride?: 

2 years, 2011 & 2012.

Why are you riding in the peloton?: 

Cancer has taken many people close to me including my mother, father and brother and two very close work colleagues. I decided it was time to fight back and do something in their memory. My ride to Austin in 2011 was such a positive and fun experience, and seeing what a wonderful organization Wellspring Calgary is and how it has helped so many free of charge made me decide to do the ride again this year.

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

Life is a Highway by Tom Cochrane, Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Latitudes by Jimmy Buffet, Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison, Sweet Old World by Lucinda Williams, Beachcombing by Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris, Hit the Road Jack.

Who are you riding for?: 

My mother, father and brother.

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

The huge high from the ride and the emotional rush upon reaching the Dempsey Center in Lewiston.

What are you looking forward to most?: 

The team camaraderie during the ride, lots of laughs, the fall colours of the East and the emotion of the Dempsey Challenge.

What is your biggest fear for this journey?: 

Getting sick or injured during the long cold and dark night rides.

How have you been affected by cancer?: 

I lost my mother in my teen years and missed not having her there for so many important occasions in my life, such as my wedding and the birth of her grandchildren. I also lost my only brother a few years ago, and ever since I have tried to get the most out of life knowing how precious it is and how quickly it would change upon receiving a diagnosis of cancer.

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

I'm going to beat you, so don't waste your time on me.

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

I know I can push through the pain and I also think of all the pain people living with and battling cancer endure. I realize what I am experiencing is nothing compared to what they must go through. I can choose to ride or not and I know there is relief and a cold beer after my 6 hours, but cancer patients have no relief until the battle is won.

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