Saturday’s Ride2Survive: 120 cyclists to pedal 400 KMs in a day for cancer cause

NORTH DELTA — This Saturday (June 20), a couple hundred people will wake at 3 a.m. to begin a long journey from Kelowna to North Delta.

On bikes, 120 riders will pedal their way southwest, with dozens of others forming a support-crew caravan. By around 10 p.m., the cyclists will roll into a Scott Road parking lot to complete one of the most physically demanding charity events around.

It’s called The Ride2Survive, a grassroots effort that has become the largest independently-run fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society.

The annual event has raised nearly $3 million over the past decade. Last year alone, the sum was more than $535,000.

Impressively, unlike some other charity rides, every cent of money raised goes directly to cancer research. The logistics of food, travel, supplies, transportation, support vehicles, advertising, salaries and other expenses are borne by riders, or are donated by local businesses.

"There are other rides out there, but this one is different, pretty special," underlined Siobhan Coates, a Ride2Survive veteran who lives in Surrey.

Coates and the other cyclists climb two mountain summits as they tackle the 400-kilometre trip in a single day.

North Delta’s Kerry and Vicki Kunzli have organized the ride since the beginning 11 years ago.

"Every year at this time, it’s controlled chaos at our house," Kerry said as some riders and crew members gathered there for an interview with the Now.

Story continues below 2010 video featuring The Ride2Survive:

 

This tight-knit "family" includes cancer survivors like Jeff Conner, who can’t cycle 400 kilometres — "yet," he emphasizes — but somehow feels obliged to help out as crew.

"I’ve been toting water and packing bags and driving cars and loading bikes," he said, "and a lot of the time it’s just talking to (the riders), giving them a little encouragement if they’re having a tough time getting up a hill, things like that. Being part of this team is so great, this dedicated team."

On a training ride last weekend, the cyclists stopped at Payal Business Centre in Surrey to visit a trio of men (Kunzli, Delta Police Const. Ken Usipiuk and local business owner Amarjit Dhadwar) who spent 50 hours in a scissorlift crane to raise funds for the event — close to $27,000, in fact.

"I’ve done the event for six years as a police escort, starting in Kelowna and all the way down," Usipiuk said. "It’s a fantastic event. Next year, I’m aiming to ride it, so this year we did the pole sit and also a fundraising dinner on June 26 (at Bollywood Banquet Hall in Newton)."

This Friday morning (June 19, at 9 a.m.) before the Ride2Surviveers are bused to Kelowna, B.C. Lions team boss Wally Buono will speak at a send-off event outside Caps South Shore Cycle on Scott Road — both the starting point and finish line for their long trek.

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com

See video of Ride2Survive cyclists ending their long ride in Delta last year:

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP asks for public’s help in finding missing 14-year-old

Police say Ali Al-Shai was last seen on Jan. 16

Province to pass $1.25-million repair bill for South Surrey overpass on to ICBC

152 Street overpass was struck by overheight truck on Dec. 4, 2017

Ex-Mountie who investigated ‘Surrey six’ murders gets conditional sentence

Derek Brassington pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday

How fallen Surrey Mountie’s Stetson ended up in Europe puzzles police

Constable Terry Draginda’s hat is repatriated after being found at a flea market in Hamburg, Germany

Delta considering extending tax freeze, fee waiver for developers on Scott Road

The incentives are aimed at creating more diverse development in the area, says Delta’s city manager

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

B.C. woman planned to donate a kidney to her husband, then found out she has cancer

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

15 to 20 cm of snow to fall on Coquihalla

Kelowna - A snowfall warning is in effect for the highway from Hope to Merritt

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

Most Read