Kerry Kunzli (right) and other cyclists on the Ride2Survive, an annual Kelowna-to-Delta event held this year on Saturday, June 22. (submitted photo)

CANCER FUNDRAISER

‘It’s been quite a ride’: Swansong for Ride2Survive as cyclists pedal 400K in single day one final time

Kelowna-to-Delta ride set for Saturday, June 22

On a 15th and final bike ride of 400 kilometres to raise money for cancer, Kerry Kunzli and 150 other cyclists will pedal from Kelowna to Delta in a single day this weekend.

Saturday’s Ride2Survive is a swansong for the annual event, which has raised $8 million since it all began as a much smaller fundraiser in 2004.

On June 22, starting at around 3 a.m. in the Okanagan city, Kunzli and the others will roll southwest over the next 20-something hours – a gruelling experience for all involved, through whatever weather Mother Nature throws their way.

It’s all meant to reflect a typically hard day in the life of a cancer patient in treatment.

As always, the finish line is at Cap’s South Shore Cycle, on Scott Road near 80th Avenue.

For Kunzli, his wife Vicki and other volunteers who plan the annual ride, the time has come to close this chapter of their lives.

“The logistical challenges of doing the ride are getting fragile, with all of it,” said Kunzli, a North Deltan.

“It’s bittersweet,” he added, “because I was there for the first one and all the way through. We’re looking forward to just getting back on our bikes instead of planning this big ride all the time.”

The initiative will live on as a “fundraising bike club,” Kunzli noted.

“Many riders still want to be part of this,” he said. “We’ll still do banquets and pole sits, raffles and fundraisers, whether we ride from Kelowna or around the block. It’s a long ride, and a lot of people still want to ride with the club. It’ll be community club – a fundraising club with a cycling problem,” he added with a laugh.

This year, because it’s the last ride of its kind, more people than usual signed up to cycle.

“Usually we get about 100 riders, and we’ve had around 140 in years five and 10, so this is the most we’ve ever had in a single year, for sure,” Kunzli said.

Via Canadian Cancer Society, donations are directed to research projects without any deductions for costs or administration, he underlined.

“This is unique among fundraising events and is possible because we are all volunteers and we pay all the costs of the event,” Kunzli says in a message to potential donors.

This year, the goal is to raise a cool $1 million online at ride2survive.ca, which also serves as a portal for photos, video and ride history.

“It blows us away when we start thinking back what’s taken place here,” Kunzli said. “It’s a pile of money we’ve raised, and yeah, we’re proud of that. We never imagined what this turned into over the past 15 years.

“It’s been quite a ride, in more ways than one.”

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

Just Posted

Cloverdale high school teacher chats about teaching and life during the COVID-19 crisis

Surrey’s Walter van Halst sits down for an informal ‘virtual’ coffee to discuss education’s current new reality

Celebrating Easter in Surrey, during COVID-19

Surrey’s Christian churches rise to the occasion, despite Coronavirus challenges

33-storey Whalley highrise, first of three phases, moves to public hearing

Councillors raise concerns about school overcrowding, green roofs

Regional parks in Delta closed for the long weekend

Boundary Bay and Deas Island parks closed ‘until further notice’ on Thursday, April 9

COVID-19 death toll reaches 50 in B.C., while daily case count steadies

B.C. records 34 new cases in the province, bringing total active confirmed cases to 462

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan, amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

B.C.’s top doctor details prescription for safe long weekend

Yes, it includes hosting an online cooking show

BC SPCA seeks help for abandoned German shepherd puppies

Donations have ‘petered out’ as doors are closed due to COVID-19

Researchers to study whether plasma of recovered patients can treat COVID-19

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains the antibodies that protect against illness

B.C., Alberta health ministers urge public to stay home Easter weekend

Regional politicians, online petition calling for closure of provincial border to non-essential traffic

Most Read