Over 80 riders and volunteers from around the world took part, travelling 420km over 3 days
Weed World was proud to be a sponsor of the 4th Medical Cannabis Bike Tour which took place in Holland, Belgium and Germany in June. Over 80 riders and volunteers from around the world took part, travelling 420km over 3 days. In total the tour raised over €100,000 in sponsorship. The funds will be used to pay for independent clinical trials to research the use of cannabinoids in cancer treatment. More information about the Medical Cannabis Bike Tour can be found on: www.medicalcannabis-biketour.com and the non-profit organisation’s Facebook page.
I decided to do the MCBT after I met Tonia, a medical marijuana patient. She was remarkable for two reasons, she was just a bundle of positive energy, and was in wheelchair as she only had one leg. As we were chatting, she mentioned she had done some cycling tours on a hand bike. I mentioned to her that I knew of a great tour to take part in, the Medical Cannabis Bike Tour. We looked at each other and both said ‘’Let’s do it!’’ We trained together and months later, we rode the tour together.
VALKENBURG: MCBT 2015 Rendezvous Point
What a blast to meet everyone in Valkenburgh! There were riders milling around, bikes everywhere. Old friends and new friends to be made. Luc (MCBT founder), our leader, was there of course, with his team of helpers and volunteers and a big van full of extra bikes, wheels, tyres, tools for all the different bikes, a medic, everything we might be needing the next few days. We all received our three piece biking suits, really beautiful professional suits (with a gel crotch!), yellow and black with rasta edgings along the sleeves. It soon became apparent that Tonia and me were in a category of our own, she with her arm bike and me with my normal city bike. Ok I had 24 gears, but it was heavy and did not compare with 50- 60 racing bikes around me that weighed nothing compared to my old fashioned bike. I had tried a more racy model, but had immediately suffered, so had traded it back for my bike with normal handlebars!
Dinner was great, had a good night sleep and the next morning by about 9.30 we were off!!
DAY 1: Valkenburg to Weert
All the racers were soon out of sight as we started the first climb of the day, up the Sibbegrubbe, a solid 2 kilometer climb. Those hills in the south of Holland – nowhere to practice hills in Amsterdam! Tonia and I both rode for a bit in the support van through Germany. Back on the Dutch border I got out and cycled again.
The route was beautiful, many times we were just on cycle paths through nature. We all had lunch on the banks of the river we had to cross in a ferry. Sitting under the trees in the shade I realized I needed a sandwich more than a joint. That seldom happens but I was hungry! Everyone cheered as I arrived that evening, the last person in.
I was sharing the room with Tonia, this had the great advantage we would get the room with the biggest bathroom. We had a bubble bath and even a shower with squirters! In this hotel they were not uptight about smoking on the terrace, and we did, we did! Tonia had the time of her life, chatting to one and all, sharing her medicinal cannabis and oils. She was just so energetic. This whole tour was so much fun, having this common goal, making the tour, it made us close like a clan. There was a group from Slovenia, others came from Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Spain, France, the UK, Germany, Austria and Norway.
DAY 2: Weert to Elst.
I left early this second day to get a head start and sometimes would run into a group of cyclists but pretty much was on my own. It was hot, very hot when I ran into a group just where there was a narrow bridge to cross and here one of the cyclists jumped into the water totally naked, much to the surprise of the elderly couple having a picnic nearby!
I discovered these cycling suits are not really made for girls, one really has to take everything off to be able to pee. Something else that was difficult on Day 2 was the unique ‘bingo number’ system for following the bike path route. I had to stop many times to put on my reading glasses. I’m sure I spent at least an hour a day looking at or for those numbers!
After 110 kilometres I just could not continue anymore, no matter how hard I pedalled I was barely moving, and I called for help. I was picked up and dropped off half a kilometre before the next hotel in Weert. Again, another great night with the group – dinner, conversation and a few joints in the balmy evening heat.
DAY 3: Elst – Amsterdam
The third day was tough. It rained for several hours and I got terribly lost. I passed the same house three times before finally finding the way to the next number. But that circle was seven kilometres so when I ran into the South Americans their milometer stood on 29 and mine had already registered 47 km!
Drove through beautiful woods for miles. Later the wind picked up and I cycled along a dike against that fierce wind for nearly three kilometres before discovering I was totally wrong and had to return. It was nearly 4 pm, I had not even reached our lunch spot yet and my milometer already read 100 kilometers. I stopped for a joint and waited for help. The magic van appeared, the support crew picking me up and taking me to a rendezvous point before Amsterdam where the group were to gather before the final ride to dam Square.
We got a call that there had been a bad crash. Paradise Luc, MCBT organiser, had taken a fall on a narrow bike path through the Loosdrechtse Lakes. He looked a mess, hands, face and one shoulder scratched and bloody. Our medic patched him up and he rode to the rendezvous in the van with us. He was determined to finish this tour on his bike, with bandages if need be. And we did! We cycled the last ten kilometres together, ironically Luc and I setting the pace!
But now life was easy – this was my home turf and I sped along familiar cycle paths at a good 30 km an hour. How great to be cycling right through the centre of town in such company! Tonia, who had done 50 kilometres that day was waiting for us on the Dam Square! Friends and family were there, pictures were taken, a lot of hugging. A lot of laughter, we felt on top of the world. In the end Tonia cycled about 150 kilometres and I did 320 out of the 420 the others cycled. Not bad!
DAY 4: Cannabis Liberation Day
Event, Flevopark, Amsterdam. The next day I ended up at the head of our bike group riding to a heroes’ welcome at the Liberation Day event at Flevopark, my bike being the only one with a bell. Bells are left out on race bikes I guess, too much extra weight! Oh, oh, did those muscles hurt. My thighs must have gained like five cm of new muscles and all of them hurt! But my ass was fine, that gel crotch really works… And so happy too! At the event we all went on stage to show off the cheque with the €120,000 raised by sponsors. Now that was something worth celebrating! I received my beautiful medal too.
Exactly two weeks after the Cannabis Liberation Day Tonia passed away. She fell asleep on her couch and died with a smile. We were all in shock. Somebody so full of energy, so determined to live life to the full, no matter what her handicaps were. Dear Tonia, I feel honoured to have known you. And I know being part of the Bike Tour gave you such joy. Tonia was buried with her medal.
Originally published in Weed World Magazine issue 118