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My Very Own Bike!

Rachel Keenan and me with our new Liv/giant Avail Inspire bicycles

Do you ever think about those days when you knew your life changed forever?

I’ve had a lot of them since being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36. However, they were completely different from the day I received my first road bike, a 2012 Liv/giant Avail Inspire designed by young breast cancer survivor and Tour de Pink rider Emily Gresh.

Why did I get a free bike? Liv/giant gives a free bike to many of the young breast cancer survivors who sign up to take their bodies back from cancer by participating in a Tour de Pink three-day ride.

Liv/giant started this practice back in 2008. There was no agenda. The company wasn’t given anything in return. Liv/giant just believes in helping young women with breast cancer take their bodies back from cancer and is committed to the cause.

Being given a bike might not sound like a big deal to everyone, but for a breast cancer survivor whose body has been affected by treatment and surgery, and who hasn't ridden a bike since she was 12, this is a very big deal.

Susan B Anthony Bike QuoteThere is something magical about being given a bike. It’s as if someone else really gets what a big deal Tour de Pink is and wants to make it easier for you. When do we ever see that type of corporate compassion anymore? Hardly ever.

And there is something very special about Tour de Pink. The three days and 200 miles are grueling and meant to be that way so you train hard, put your body through a trying task … and emerge victorious.

My belief is that it is a way for me to truly get my body back: I have to ride 200 miles … on a bike with skinny wheels. God help me.

At least she (the bike) is beautiful, and I will ride my Liv/giant Avail Inspire bike with pride.