Ride2Survive is back for its 13th year, and is planning to raise $600,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.
The ride takes cyclists from Kelowna to North Delta in one day, travelling in formation. Ride2Survive president Kerry Kunzli was one of the original riders back in 2004.
“Honestly, it sounded like a cool bike ride to do,” Kunzli said. “The opposite has become true over time; it’s more about the fundraising than the ride.”
As of Friday, June 16, the ride had raised more than $430,000, but a joint fundraiser that took place in the parking lot on Fraser Hwy and 188 Street in Clayton Heights raised that total by just over $12,000.
Together with Cops for Cancer, Ride2Survive hoists two people up into the air for 50 hours in an attempt to raise awareness and funds. This past weekend’s willing victims: DPD Sgt. Ray Hudson and DPD Const. Sukhi Thind.
“We just wanted to do something special close to retirement and just give back a little bit,” Hudson said. Hudson is part of Cops for Cancer, and will be retiring from the force in October.
Kunzli did the “pole sit,” as it’s known, last year. He said how easy it is depends on the weather; last year, it was cold and windy.
But when “somebody comes up to table down below who’s going through chemo at the moment and gives you 20 bucks,” he said. “I guess I can put up with a little rain or a little cold.”
Over the weekend, the two organizations raised more than $24,500. The proceeds were split between Ride2Survive and Cops for Cancer.
Ride2Survive’s aim for this year is to raise $600,000, a goal which was surpassed in each of the last two years.
In total, Ride2Survive has donated $5.8 million to the Canadian Cancer Society. None of the donation money is used for administrative costs: the ride is completely volunteer run and the society keeps the funds in a trust to use for specific projects, not for administration.
This year’s ride is on June 24, starting at 3 a.m. in Kelowna and arriving in North Delta around 11 p.m. About 120 riders have registered to participate.