Explaining the Team Give’r Logo


Our Team Give'r Cycling Logo

This is the story of Team Give’r and our wicked mean logo.

In 2009 our Give’r Cycling Team was sponsored by Alberto European Extreme Style for the Ride to Conquer Cancer.   Last year we raised over $90,000 and this year we are already at $65,000 and growing every day.

Our super-talented designer in residence Dean put together a beautiful blue and red kit (shown below) to represent for the brand, and we found room for the Team Give’r logo on the shoulder. 

To go back to the beginning, our group of friends had dubbed ourselves “Team Give’r “ after we had lazed our way through the first few days of the Juan de Fuca trek.  We awoke late on the final morning with the realization that we were in danger of missing our lift out of the bush.  When asked how the hell we were going to make it in time, the answer came pretty easily…Just Give’r.  The name stuck.

Since we have some new riders and countless new supporters on the team this year, I thought it made sense to explain the genesis of the logo and what it means…beyond the fact that it just looks mean and cool, of course.

The logo is an original cancer survivor symbol that I explained to Dean in the form of a story, which he then built. 

The skull and crossbones, commonly found on your household cleansers, represents the life-saving poison of chemotherapy.  It’s also been used for centuries as a symbol of resurrection, with the crossed bones being a nod to the cross of Christian origin. The eye patch is a symbol of Wisdom from legend, coming from the old tale of the Norse God Odin who is said to have plucked out an eye in return for a sip from the well of knowledge  (you’ll have to come up with your own conclusions for why it is over the left eye…that’s a tightly held secret that I will only share over several drinks).  The eyepatch is there because my own experience with survivorship is that it forces wisdom on you…pushing aside the things that just don’t matter and bringing priorities into focus.

And finally the wings.  I could say that they represent freedom, or the soaring feeling of surviving a deadly threat…but the truth is that Dean thought they looked cool.  And that’s hard to argue with.

Team Give’r was made to channel the athletic, creative and compassionate energies of our wonderful network of friends into a way to give back.  We’re in year 2 now and as of this writing the team has raised $160,000 for the BC Cancer Foundation and the Ride to Conquer Cancer.  Not bad.

Thanks to everyone who has supported us…our caregivers, family, friends and sponsors.  We ride so that some day no one need fear death from a cancer diagnosis.

For more info on the Ride and our ride from Vancouver to Seattle, check out my Ride page here:  http://bit.ly/AndrewRidePage  and the Team Page here: http://bit.ly/extremestyle 

Team Extreme Style at the finish line in Seattle

Hope to see you on the roads!

Week 3 Training Blog, Ride to Conquer Cancer


Here we are 2 months out from the longest ride in my life, and training is going great.  Team Alberto European Extreme Style is coming together well on both the riding and fundraising fronts.  We are up to 25 riders now and with another $7,000 coming in from sponsors via mail we should be in the top 10 teams in total money raised.

Right on Track: We’re almost 80% of the way to our goal of raising over $50,000 as a team!

Riding

Saturday we did the ride out to Horseshoe Bay again under some beautiful sunshine.  It’s a rolling ride that should be quite similar to the trip down to Seattle so it is an appropriate test that we will be completing a couple times a month.  Rode with Dean, Kathy and Eilleen and felt strong as an ox on the climbs.  The 50k ride took us over 2 hours but we were pretty leisurely. 

The team has a pretty wide range of ability so we’re a pretty good cross-section of the people who will be on the Ride with us…from enthusiastic non-riders all the way up to the super-fit triathlete.  This is good because everyone should have someone to ride with all the way to Seattle.

We’re using the La Bicicletta Sunday morning rides as our team get-togethers.  This is a solid group for people who want a regular opportunity to ride in a pack at a moderate speed.  They leave at 9:30 sharp from the store at Broadway and Alberta each week (be there by 9:15 ready to go).

I’ve been riding to work through the midweek rains as well to keep my fitness up during the less than ideal weather and playing hockey where I can to keep the training up.

Fundraising

For a number of people on the team last week seemed to be the time to start fundraising in earnest.  There is still plenty of time, and we have some fun events planned in addition to everyone’s personal efforts.  In addition to Mike Scholten’s successful Burger and Beer at one20 pub in Surrey on Saturday, Kathy, Sue and Sarah have a great event planned at Red Square Tapas Lounge on the 30th:

Thursday April 30th at 7pm
Red Square Tapas Lounge, downtown Vancouver 1216 Granville street (near Davie).
We have collected some great swag for prizes – yoga membership, salon products and professional services, Lacoste bags, GC’s, bike gear…
$5 at the door directly to donation, gives you $5 off food/drinks.

Contact me at awg_home@hotmail.com if you want to support the event.

We are also planning a gala event at our restaurant sponsor Hapa Izakaya in Kitsilano in June.  More on that later.

Monday-Thursday: Bike to work, 30 minutes round trip

Friday: Off

Saturday:  50km ride, 2:20:17 (frequent stops)

Kitsilano to Horseshoe Bay.  Great rolling ride.  Nice opportunity to climb in the big ring to build power and practice going downhill. 

We’re beginning to work out in our heads how long it will take to get down to Seattle.  Judging from our experience at the Tour of Courage in 2007 riding with Axel Merckx and Alex Stieda, we should be able to hold a pretty good speed without too much effort in a pack.

Just have to be fit enough to stay with the Pack!

Week 2 Training Blog


After an absolutely fantastic weekend last week, we’ve had a typical Vancouver week of rain.  Threw a wet blanket over outdoor activity.  Thankfully the sun returned today (Easter Monday) and Anita, Dean, Kathy and I jumped on our bikes for a most excellent 2 hour ride to Iona Beach and down by UBC.

Team Alberto is kicking into a higher gear with 2 months to go until the Ride to Conquer Cancer.   Lots of people putting renewed effort in, and Colleen just completed her goal of raising over $2,500. 

We’ve had a new joiner, Sid Segal, who completed a 500 mile ride in September where he and his daughter raised over $8,000.  They’ll fit right in.  I’ll be in Toronto next week and will be visiting Alberto Culver to thank the company for their sponsorship and do a presentation on the BC Cancer Foundation.  We’re going to totally blow away the goal of $50,000.

A week into my training blog and while I wasn’t able to shed any weight, I did lose 1% body fat.  Hoping that building muscle should pay dividends in the summer racing season. 

Was chatting on the bike with Dean about my goal of setting a personal best in both the Olympic Tri and the 10k this year.  I think the 10k goal is going to be the tougher of the 2, but am up for the challenge.

Monday: Walk to work; 45 minutes each way. 

Tuesday: Bike to work; 15 minutes each way. 

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Hockey, 90 minutes. Scored a goal and we pulled out an 11-9 win in a pick up game

Friday: 3 hour walk around Vancouver, The Seawall to Chinatown and around. Doing the tour-guide thing with Myrna’s friend Pam.

Saturday: Cycling 60 Minutes on the trainer in-doors

Sunday: Church, and Easter Pot-Luck Dinner.

Monday: 49.20 km Ride,  Time 1:57:44, top speed 63km/hr, ave speed 25.1 km/hr

Beautiful day to ride. Out to Iona Beach and back along UBC.  With a bit of a tailwind we were able to hold 40km/hr on the flat. I was a little bit wiped out afterwards, but it was Easter Monday so a day of rest was in order.

Launching my LiveSTRONG year


Had a wonderful ride today: 4ok out along jericho and locarno beaches, up the hill past spanish banks, through UBC to SW Marine Drive and back.  A solitary ride that had me smiling almost the whole time despite the chill.

I’m now almost 2 years post chemo and have resolved to make this my “LiveSTRONG” year.  For me, this means that whatever I am doing, to do it with enthusiasm.  To dedicate myself to being better than ever.  To supporting Team Give’r to raise over $50,000 for Cancer Research.  We had a great day, preparing our meals and enjoying eachother’s company.  I made a savoury Miso Noodle Soup.  Myrna made a great Potato fry-up for breakfast and a fun chicken thigh thing from what we had in the fridge.

I’m enthusiastic about this year.  I’ll track my progress towards the big goal of dropping 25 pounds in 6 months and delivering a personal best for the 10k at the Turkey trot.

Stage 18: Firing down L’Alpe D’Huez to Athlete’s Village


Today was the 3rd and last day of our Live the Dream package.  After an early breakfast at the Hotel the riders among us flew down the 21 hairpins of Alpe DHuez.  We then rode on to Bourg D’Oisans to enjoy VIP access to the Start Village and riders enclosure. Graham Baxter took us to meet the Caisse D’Epargne team and had Luis Leon Sanchez and Alejandro Valverde sign my jersey. 

Alejandro Valverde Autographs My Jersey
Alejandro Valverde Autographs My Jersey

It was fun to be in the area, check out the bikes up close, and see how it all happens before a stage start.  The riders have to push their way through an incredible throng to get to the start…stopping to take pictures with fans all along the way. 

Myrna in the mix before the start
Myrna in the mix before the start