As the recent wind and rain storm pounded the Lower Mainland and Washington State this past weekend, it also took a toll on the cyclists taking part in the 300-kilometre Ride to Conquer Cancer, which took place Saturday and Sunday between Surrey and Redmond, Wash.
Surrey resident Stacey Jeffares started the ride Saturday morning along with more than 2,000 other riders, but was soon faced with monsoon-like rains and blowing winds that forced the riders to temporarily stop outside Bellingham and be transported by bus to the halfway point in Mt. Vernon.
“The first day was a struggle for everyone,” said Jeffares. “People were actually getting off their bikes and walking because they couldn’t peddle against the wind.”
Despite the harrowing “adventure” in the rain and wind and dodging flying branches, Jeffares awoke Sunday morning willing to continue to the finish line, but his bike developed some mechanical issues, essentially ending his second attempt at completing the ride.
He was riding for his son Nicholas, who survived cancer, and his friend Al Martin, who succumbed to the disease in 2014.
In all, 2,087 riders helped raise $8.4 million for the BC Cancer Foundation this year. In seven years, the event has raised more than $70 million for cancer research and treatment at the BC Cancer Agency.
For Jeffares, attempting the ride for a third time in the coming years is still a possibility, but that decision has yet to be determined.
“What we went through for two days is nothing compared to what cancer patients have to deal with every day,” he said, “so I don’t want to say the ride has got the best of me just yet.”