Local police officer cycles on $12,000-ride with Armstrong – Spotlight

.

Good company - Stettler RCMP Cpl. Laurel Konschuh pedals her way alongside cycling guru and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong during the LINKPINK Ride for breast-cancer research earlier this month in Calgary.

JULIE BERTRAND

Independent reporter

During the summer, Cpl. Laurel Konschuh of the RCMP Central Region Integrated Traffic Services was a woman on a mission.

From May to early September, she raised $12,000 to participate in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation LINKPINK Ride for breast cancer.

While she surpassed her fundraising goal of $10,000, she still came up short of her goal to be one of the top two individual fundraisers, which would have earned her a special yellow jersey reminiscent of the one the leader of the Tour de France wears.

“There were a lot of people in the community who were very supportive and very helpful,” Konschuh said after returning to Stettler. “I am very appreciative.”

“The fundraising was an incredible experience for me, very humbling.”

The LINKPINK ride took place Sept. 8 west of Calgary and the participants enjoyed beautiful weather for their 60-kilometre ride.

“We were just out on some back roads,”

Konschuh recalled. “I don’t know the exact number, but I think there were around 30 to 35 riders.”

Each participant had the chance to ride alongside Lance Armstrong and talk with him.

“I found him very personable,” Konschuh said. “What I really understood, which I do not think I understood before, is that he has a passion for beating cancer. He is amazing.”

During the following evening gala dinner, pictures of Armstrong sick with cancer in 1996 were shown to the crowd.

“It really hit me that he had been very sick,” Konschuh said. “He had, I think, less than a 40 per cent chance of surviving it and he did.”

Armstrong then went on to win the Tour de France seven times, from 1999 to 2005.

During her talk with him, Konschuh asked him how fast he normally rides when he is just by himself.

“What we were riding at is what he said he normally rides at,” she said. “It was a nice pace. I was happy to keep up with the group.”

While Konschuh wanted to take a good look at his shoes and try to pick up tricks from him, she just managed to look at his bike.

“That bike is very special,” she said. “I bet it weighs less than 15 pounds. I understand it has no gear cable. All the gear shifting and the derailing are done electronically, which is way over my head.”

Konschuh suspects Armstrong’s bike costs as much as her car.

“Having said that, it is not the equipment, but the human machine running the equipment,” she said.

“You still have to be strong, fit and a good athlete —and he clearly is.”

Now that the fundraising and the training for the LINKPINK ride is over, Konschuh feels a little bit at loss at what to do with her free time.

“I don’t know what I want to do next,” she said. “I will be thinking about what is next.”

Because she was recently transferred to the Grande Prairie detachment, packing boxes and moving will be her main task as soon as she manages to sell her Stettler house.

Konschuh, however, is already thinking about next summer’s bike events.

“I will be back on my bike next summer,” she said.

Just Posted

Darrell Paulovich remembered after accident claims his life

A tragic accident claimed the life of a rodeo advocate over the weekend

The soil from which wealth grows: MLA Strankman

Good economic policy requires genuine understanding of the wealth creation process

Stettler Lightning ready for a win

Take on Lomond Lakers Oct. 13

Alberta RCMP hosts Cannabis State of Readiness

RCMP increases capacity of prevention, intelligence, and security, screening and training

Video: An up-close look at beluga whales in Hudson Bay

An up-close look as some belugas greet whale watchers off the coast of Churchill, Manitoba

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

Internal government documents show that more than one million jobs could be lost to automated vehicles, with ripple effects far beyond the likeliest professions.

Would-be thieves fail to steal ATM in Red Deer

Drive truck backwards into IGA on eastside

Koreas agree to break ground on inter-Korean railroad

The rival Koreas are holding high-level talks Monday to discuss further engagement amid a global diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with North Korea.

Flash floods kill at least 7 people in southwest France

Flash floods have left several people dead in southwest France, with roads swept away and streams become raging torrents as the equivalent of several months of rain fell overnight, authorities said Monday.

Trump to visit Florida, Georgia; search ongoing for missing

The death toll from Michael’s destructive march from Florida to Virginia stood at 17.

Canadians widely unaware of accomplishments of famous women, poll suggests

A new poll suggests Canadians have a lot to learn about the accomplishments of some of the country’s most famous women.

Most Read