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

Let the Games begin!

Team Alberta takes home gold and silver in speed skating on day one

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Furever Ours dance coming to Botha

Tickets still left for “Furever Ours” dine and dance

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Body found after apparent house explosion in Calgary, police investigating

Sgt. Dwayne Lepchuk declined to say whose remains were found

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Deported B.C. man who came to Canada as a baby granted chance at return

Len Van Heest was deported to the Netherlands in 2017

Sex abuse survivors to meet with Vatican summit organizers

Pope Francis has urged participants to meet with abuse victims before they came to Rome

Ex-FBI official: ‘Crime may have been committed’ by Trump

Andrew McCabe said FBI had good reason to open a counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump was in league with Russia

Most Read