Ride 2 Survive (R2S) will begin their 11th annual tour from Kelowna to Delta, at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 20th. The cycling activists and cancer research advocates will be making their way to Hope with a scheduled riding time between 3:30 p.m. and 3:40 p.m. for 45 minutes before continuing onto Delta.
“Hope is a big part of the ride for us, Memorial Park is where we have our dinner, hydrate, stretch, rest up and many of us change into fresh riding gear. What really marks this stop for most riders is Memorial Park, where we are greeted by family who drive out to cheers us on. We’ve been on the road for 12 hours and having family join us in Hope is very uplifting, helping to re-energize us. We do our group picture every year in the park which appears on the header of our website, then continue on our journey.”
R2S is a grass roots community of B.C. riders, volunteers and residents from across the B.C. region in which they ride. The group consists of 120 cyclists and 60 plus volunteers on a formidable journey spanning 400 kilometers, travelling from Kelowna to Delta in just one day’s journey.
What makes this ride unique is that 100 per cent of the funds raised go directly to cancer research.
The logistics of food, travel, supplies, transportation, support vehicles, police, ambulance, advertising, salaries and other administrative expenses are borne by the riders or are donated by local businesses.
When the cycling activists hand over the precious funds they’ve raised to the Cancer Society, the Society has consented to match their frugality by waiving the customary administrative fee. To top it off, Ride 2 Survive is permitted to direct their donations to specific areas of cancer research designated by each individual rider.
This year, if a rider designates their donation to brain cancer research, it will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Brain Canada.
Their arduous journey traverses two mountain summits, climbing over 12,000 feet (greater than the vertical climbs of the Tour de France) and involves pedaling over 75,000 revolutions. They will steel themselves against the elements, ailments and the greatest deterrent, self-doubt.
The challenge is deliberately intimidating, designed to emulate the struggles, pain, doubt and frustration that a cancer victim is often subjected to during their cancer battle. It underscores the need for a support system of family and friends, otherwise the battle (ride) is insurmountable on their own.
Just like in the fight against cancer; alone, it is too hard. But together, with the support of one another and a team effort, it is possible to push through the fatigue, aching and discomfort.
It is a powerful and challenging test of discipline that brings each of the group members an unassailable sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.
“To riders and volunteers alike, we are not elite cyclists. Every year we turnover about a third of our riders to be replaced by new riders driven by the same goal — to eradicate the terrible disease of cancer.
What drives the group to endure months of physical challenges, cramping, injuries and tears in training, is the knowledge that 100 per cent of donations go directly to cancer research through the Canadian Cancer Society.
Each individual does this for deeply personal reasons, having lost parents, daughters, sons, friends and colleagues. Riders and volunteers alike, carry pictures taped to their bikes with names written on their jerseys, arms and legs. Cancer is an indiscriminate disease, taking the very young to the aged. Last year their little group raised nearly $700,000. To date they have raised almost $3 million and that number is steadily climbing.
It would be difficult to find any organization more efficient in handling charitable donations than Ride 2 Survive (R2S), as they are the largest independently run event for the Canadian Cancer Society.
• An estimated 196,900 new cases of cancer and 78,000 deaths from cancer will occur in Canada in 2015.
• More than half (about 51 per cent) of all new cases will be prostate, breast, lung and colorectal cancers.
• About 2 in 5 Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetimes and 1 in 4 will die of the disease.
• 63 per cent of Canadians diagnosed with cancer will survive at least five years after their diagnosis.
• At the beginning of 2009, there were about 810,045 Canadians living with a cancer that had been diagnosed in the previous 10 years.
In British Columbia: Overview of new cases and deaths
• An estimated 196,900 new cases of cancer and 78,000 deaths from cancer will occur in Canada in 2015. Prostate, lung, breast, and colorectal cancer account for the top four newly diagnosed cancers.
• In 2015, an estimated 10,100 people will die of cancer in British Columbia, and 25,400 new cases will be diagnosed.
On behalf of the R2S Organizing Committee who’d like to invite the community to support the R2S cyclists and volunteers on their ride through Hope, they are asking for everyone’s support to put this event on the British Columbia map and event calendar.