Ninety people embarked on a one-day journey covering 400 kilometers last Saturday.
The cyclists participating in the ninth annual Ride2Survive are working together to raise half a million dollars for the Canadian Cancer Society this year.
The ride started at 3:30 a.m. in Kelowna and finished at about 10 p.m. in Delta, with a stop in Hope in between.
Since February, the group has been riding and training in all kinds of weather, working towards having the energy and stamina to keep up with the pack on the gruelling climb up the Coquihalla Highway’s many peaks.
“Every year we’re blown away by the commitment of the riders, their dedication to overcoming the daunting physical aspects of the ride and particularly the personal experiences that have compelled them to do the ride in the first place,” said Kerry Kunzli, one of the event organizers since 2005. “It’s not just about completing the physical ride; the participants are each expected to fundraise too, which can also be challenging.”
Several riders have raised more than $20,000 each, with every penny going directly towards cancer research. Since the inaugural event in 2005, Ride2Survive has raised more than $2 million.
Ride participants invest their time, energy and occasionally even their own money to fundraise. Some are cancer survivors, while others have lost a loved one to cancer.
“Fighting cancer is an all-hands-on-deck battle and it’s events like these that really show the depth of our collective commitment to that fight,” said Ron Kuehl, vice-president of revenue development with the Canadian Cancer Society. “We are honoured to be the beneficiary of Ride2Survive. Their efforts will help fund some of the best cancer research in the country, which is something we all can be proud of.”