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On the Road Again

June 28, 2024

Found in General,  Tour de Cure

“We basically ate charcuterie for the first few months of the pandemic.”

It was while shopping for party supplies in Squamish, for his wife’s 50th birthday party, that Brian Goldstone first realized he and Kyla’s half-a-century celebrations in 2020 wouldn’t go as planned.

“I could feel this panic in the grocery store. Stuff was going down.” Despite having stocked up on meat and cheese for a crowd, they cancelled the event. And of course, Brian’s own party a few months later.

Ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and almost a year of mysterious symptoms, including out of control blood pressure, severe sciatica-like pain, and cramps suggestive of kidney stones, delayed further festivities. As did Brian’s 2023 diagnosis of a rare adrenal tumour that metastized to his skull and spine.

After three rounds of radiation and on an intermittent schedule of oral chemotherapy, Brian isn’t putting off celebrating any longer — and to cap his 54th birthday summer plans he’s riding in the Tour de Cure.

Brian was an avid mountain biker prior to his cancer diagnosis.

“Cycling is definitely in my wheelhouse,” he says. As are many other outdoor adventures, which he captured during his long career as an in-house photographer for Arc’teryx. “I’ve been mountain biking for more than 40 years, since I was a young kid. My whole family is into it, my son and my nieces and nephews.”

But Brian won’t be riding a mountain bike in the two-day, 200 km event in August. Nor will he be on a road bike. Cancer and its treatment have left him with debilitating side effects including the loss of his L5 spinal segment. “I’m technically three-quarters-of an-inch shorter,” he wryly laughs of the deterioration of his lower vertebrae.

At his worst, Brian says, “I couldn’t walk for almost two weeks.” As treatment kicked in, and with the help of physiotherapy, he’s gotten mobility and some strength back. Not enough, however, to ride 100 km a day — a distance that was as per usual for him pre-cancer.

Instead, he plans to tackle the Cloverdale to Hope route on an electric bike Kyla gave him for Christmas.

“It’s gotten me back out riding a lot more.” Something Brian greatly appreciates, especially as it means spending more time with his 14-year-old son, Riley.

Brian took Riley to his first concert, Pearl Jam, earlier this year — yet another milestone marked in his plan to put a very difficult 2023 “in the rear-view mirror,” he says. “I don’t know my long-term diagnosis, but we’re doing things on a quicker scale. We’re making sure we’re getting stuff done, and not putting anything on hold anymore.”

Join Brian in raising funds to help people facing cancer in B.C., register for the Tour de Cure today.