A crowd listens to a woman describe her story of beating cancer

Riding for a cure

Annual 250-k.m. ride raises $7 million for Cancer Research

More than $7 million was raised for the fight against cancer by a group of more than 1,600 cyclists which rode from Surrey to Seattle.

Saturday morning at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds, 1,687 cyclists began the two-day, 250km ride in the eighth-annual Ride to Conquer Cancer, presented by Silver Wheaton, in support of breakthrough cancer research and enhancements at the B.C. Cancer Agency.

The largest cycling fundraiser in the province, the ride has raised over $77 million for the B.C Cancer Foundation since 2008 and brings together thousands of volunteers, participants and communities of cancer survivors all with a common goal.

For Brad Peters, who was part of the Riders for Ryder team, the weather for this year’s event was the best he had seen.

And having ridden the course the last two years, the Langley resident was glad to see the warm dry weather.

“First year, it was freezing cold, and it was heavy rain,” Peters told Black Press. “And last year was the storm. The course shut down, I think only 20 per cent of the riders finished the day.”

Many riders train for months to be able to complete the grueling two-day event, but all recognize the importance of continuing the cause to find a cure for cancer and to help those currently battling the disease.

“I lost my father, a dedicated Ride participant and former captain of Team CRANKEN, at the young age of 59 in 2013 to stage three bladder cancer,” said Kluhane Leoppky.

“I first got involved in the Ride with my father in 2010, the same year he was diagnosed. To this day, I participate on Team CRANKEN with a growing number of people, all of whom were impacted by my father’s life and legacy.”

Silver Wheaton became involved as a sponsor of the ride in 2014, but has participated in the ride since 2009 with a team of over 50 riders which has raised nearly $920,000.

“The experts we support at the BC Cancer Agency are recognized internationally for work in advancing research and enhancing care. Together, this passionate group of riders is fueling breakthrough studies that offer new hope to patients,” said Sarah Roth, President and CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation. “The Ride is about bringing people together to make cancer a manageable and eventually curable disease in our lifetime.”

Next year’s event is set for Aug. 26-27. More information is available by phone at 888-771-BIKE or online at www.conquercancer.ca