Ryan Jones is travelling to Kelowna on Thursday, on a bicycle.
The Langley man is planning to begin his ride at 3 a.m. at the Langley Hospice Society office on 48 Avenue, and arrive in the Okanagan city in the evening, after cycling 378 kilometres in one day. He is taking on the ambitious ride to raise funds for Langley Hospice Society.
Jones is doing so in memory of his wife Andrea’s mother, Laurie Lemon, who died June 5, 2012. Because of the excellent care and treatment she received from Langley Hospice Society when she was dying of cancer, the couple (who were married on July 26) came up with the Lemon Love Ride.
Jones grew up in Aldergrove and Lemon is from Langley. He first became involved in raising funds to fight cancer after his father battled cancer. They took part together in the Ride to Conquer Cancer.
He and Lemon had known of each other, and connected via Facebook, and when they met in person, he was wearing his ride to Conquer Cancer jersey. They found they had a great deal in common and after getting together, decided they would like to do something for the hospice society.
While planning their wedding, Lemon also planned the ride. They have a web page with further details, and contributions can be made on the website. It can be found at http://www.lemonloveride.tumblr.com/.
Lemon has also organized support vehicles, rest break location and all the myriad of details that go into an event of this type. She plans to ride the final 50 to 100 kilometres with Jones.
He has been doing extensive training for the ride, but still admits it will be quite a challenge, given the hills he will have to climb on both the Coquihalla and Okanagan Connector highways. He will be pedalling uphill for over 10,000 feet (almost three kilometres) — the equivalent of climbing a mountain.
He is hoping he won’t have many distractions, such as flat tires.
As of a week ago, the couple had exceeded their fundraising goal of $10,000 by more than $3,000, and publicity since that time has boosted the drive even further.
“We wanted to do something to give back,” he said. “After visiting the hospice, I knew I was doing the right thing.”