Ride2Survive marks 10 years of fighting cancer

SURREY – In its origins, it was nothing more than a 400-kilometre notch in a belt for a few cyclists.

 

But in 10 years, soon-to-be 4,000 kilometres and countless chafing-induced rashes, the Ride2Survive has become something much bigger.

 

In the month before the first ride was underway in 2004, it became about raising money for cancer research. This decision led to the creation of a 100-per-cent volunteerbased charity ride that has since raised more than $2,500,000.

 

Only half of the 17-rider team finished that first ride, but the cyclists and organizers came away with a realization about what they had created.

 

"We learned about it that night and thought, ‘wow we’ve got something here’. At the time there was no other ultra distance cycling event. And it stayed in B.C.," said Vicki Kunzli, one of Ride2Survive’s organizers.

 

Now the annual event is a one-day, 400-kilometre cycling fundraiser from Kelowna to Delta. It follows the Coquihalla Highway, a grueling ride for even the most seasoned cyclists.

 

The event has grown to 140 riders, a support crew of 103 and a cause that has become a second full-time, volunteer job for Kunzli and the other organizers. The knowledge that they are making a difference has made all the work worthwhile.

 

"Knowing full well that some of the treatments that we fund, people are still here. They’ve been given three weeks, they’ve gone on a new treatment and five years later they’re still here. It makes a difference," said Kunzli.

 

There have been moments, too, she said, that make the ride more than about those participating.

 

One year, the group was riding through an area with busy traffic. The police had pulled all the cars over to clear the road.

 

"There were people honking and standing outside of their cars and all of a sudden we saw people holding up their wallets and pictures in their wallets. And that was just a clincher to me going, ‘Oh my gosh these are their people’," said Kunzli.

 

The riders have also lost many of their own along the way. Their names are permanently printed on the sleeves of the Ride2Survive jerseys.

 

The Ride2Survive takes place on Saturday (June 21).

 

Riders will leave Kelowna at 3:30 a.m. and hope to arrive at South Shore Cycle on Scott Road in Delta by 10 p.m. This year, those at home can follow the Ride2Survive’s progress in real-time and on social media.

 

"We will have GPS on our front pilot vehicle the whole day so they can watch on our website and we will be tweeting and facebooking all day," said Kunzli.

 

While partnered with the Canadian Cancer Society, the Ride2Survive is classified as an independent fundraiser. This means that no administration costs are taken and 100 per cent of donations go to research and prevention.

 

For more information, to donate or to follow the riders in real-time on ride day, visit Ride2survive.ca. matt@mattlaw.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

OBITUARY: Sherrold Haddad brought giant Canadian flag to Surrey car dealership, built community

‘An amazing man, business person and community leader,’ friend Bruce Hayne posted to Facebook

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

MARCH 28: Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read