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Richard Kloschinsky

Name: Richard Kloschinsky

Age: 45

Occupation: Importer of salmon – Nordic Gold Salmon

Hometown: Dundas, Ontario

Family: Separated with two kids – Raegan 1997 and Drew 2000 Dog- Dexter

Biggest Accomplishment: 4 years Epic Tour for Kids

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Life is meant for doing, not watching

I was mountain biking with a friend one Friday in the fall of 2005 when he told me he was going for a long road ride that following Monday. I’m always interested in trying new sports, so I asked if I could ride along. How hard could that be compared to the dangers of barreling down an obstacle-strewn mountain path?

Well, it was a little more than I bargained for. I ended up borrowing a bike that was not fitted. We changed the pedals, lowered the seat but it was still too large. That “long road ride” also turned out to be 120 km, and I was very uncomfortable for most of it. Despite those hurdles, I bought my own bike the following weekend—one that was the “right size” and fitted to me. The first ride with my own bike was much more comfortable than those 120 km of misery on the borrowed bike (imagine that). With one proper ride under my belt, I was well and truly hooked.

The following season I started riding with a group of friends, and halfway through the cycling year we signed up for the Tour for Kids. I really didn’t train up for it apart from simply riding more and getting hours in the saddle. It was an important lesson for me—and for the impulsive side of my nature. I thought I was in good shape, but I barely made it through the two day event. That taught me the importance of intelligent preparation. We hadn’t given the event the physical respect it deserved, and we didn’t approach our training that way. Never again. I have since carried this philosophy over to many aspects of my life: “giving the proper respect” for each event that comes my way.

I’ve worked very hard since those early days to build up my fitness base for cycling. I even felt good during the last couple Tour for Kids epic 4-day rides. My four-year involvement with Tour for Kids taught me so much about the effects of childhood cancer, and the impact it has on everyone it touches. I am also deeply humbled by the passion and devotion of the people connected with the foundation. Now that it’s no longer an endurance challenge, I feel I have more to give.

When the Sears National Kids Cancer ride was first announced two years ago, I felt an immediate urge to join—but my mind convinced me that the trip was too much, that I could never finish it. It took me a couple years to win that battle with my inner pansy, but here I am, and I’m ready to ride!

I was initially attracted to the physical challenge of this ride, but deeper exposure to the people involved and the stories of those they’ve helped has transformed this event from an epic endurance test to one of shared struggle with all those whose lives have been touched by this terrible disease. It’s no longer about beating my own record or my own ego, but beating a disease that robs us of the future, of moments with family and friends, and of dreams that never had a chance to come true.

Riding for cancer has taught me that whatever actions I take, however small they might be, will ripple outward to benefit others—and that ripple will carry on long after the aches of the cross-Canada journey have faded away.

 

“You are the world, you are not separate from the world. You are not an American, Russian, Hindu, or Muslim. You are apart from these labels and words, you are the rest of mankind because your consciousness, your reactions are similar to the others. You may speak a different language, have different customs, that is superficial culture—all cultures apparently are superficial—but your consciousness, your reactions, your faith, your beliefs, your ideologies, your fears, anxieties, loneliness, sorrow, and pleasure are similar to the rest of mankind. If you change, it will affect the whole of mankind" - J.Krishnamurti