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YSC Tour de Pink – Why? Well, Why Not?!

Me, at far right, with fellow survivors at the finish of the 2012 Tour de Pink.
Me, at far right, with my fellow survivors at the finish of the 2012 Tour de Pink.

Many people think I ride in YSC Tour de Pink because I have been involved since day one and think “how can I not.”  In all honesty, that is a part of it, but the biggest reason I ride is … because I can.  Recently someone asked me how I get up every day.  After all, I have stage IV breast cancer with metastasis to my brain, so how do I get up, go to work, run errands, go on vacation, go out to dinner, have fun etc.?  My response is, “How can I not?”

What is the point of going through treatment and trying to get healthy if you are not going to enjoy every minute?  Realistically if cancer doesn't kill me, something else will, and I have zero control over that. So I want to enjoy all the time I have and all the experiences I can make.

Tour de Pink is one of those experiences.  Since Matt Purdue and I started the East Coast Tour de Pink in October 2004, it has been my favorite athletic event EVER! I love being on my bike, but more than that, I love the community we create on the days we are all together — riders, volunteers, supporters, logistics and staff.  I always say if the world could be like the traveling community we create every year it would be an amazing world — no war, no hunger and everyone is happy.  And we do create this world for three whole days.
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I challenge anyone to experience what we create in these three days.  It’s a no-blockheads-allowed event.  Everyone takes care of everyone else both on and off the bike.  The people you meet become life-long friends even if you only see them once a year.  It is as if you saw them yesterday.  There is a camaraderie, compassion and emotion that I have never seen before and do not see or experience anywhere else.

This is why I ride.  Because I can and because of the people this ride has brought into my life.  Once a year, every year, for as long as I can pedal that bike.

Join me.  This truly is the ride of a lifetime.  I promise!

Editor's Note: Lisa J. Frank is the current YSC board president, a founding member of the Young Survival Coalition, the co-founder of YSC Tour de Pink and the author of the blog You're Crying on my Cashmere.