Ride2Survive endurance event more than just a personal challenge

Gruelling 400km bike trek raises money for cancer research.

Riders take part in the 2015 Ride2Survive endurance event.

Riders take part in the 2015 Ride2Survive endurance event.

Wayne Little

The Journal

My bucket list of endurance events and things I would like to do seems to gets larger, and the events themselves get more challenging. A few years ago, I read about a charity event called the Ride2Survive. It’s a 400km ride starting at 3:30am in Kelowna and ending some 17 hours later in Vancouver. Participants travel up and over the Coquihalla Connector to Merritt, down to Hope, then use highway 7 into Vancouver, with police cars in front and back of the pack keeping all the riders safe. I saw this and thought, “Oh yeah, that’s going onto the list!”

At first I simply thought of it as a physically challenging event that would let me say I rode a bicycle 400km in one day. Then I watched the videos and testimonies from other riders who’ve done the event, and realized the bigger picture. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, and more have died of cancer, and I’m sure you have relatives and friends who have died from it. Then I wanted to do it to try to make a change: use my fitness to see if I can try to make a difference.

Many charity events are very administration- and advertising cost-heavy, so a large portion of the money participants raise through donations go to pay for another event. It’s a necessary evil for their cause. But one of the reasons I like the idea of this event is that all the money raised goes towards fighting cancer. You can even designate the money for whichever type of cancer you are interested in fighting. The entry fee ($258) pays for all the event costs. Volunteers do all the work, and sponsors pay for the food and drinks for the riders. Up to 200 riders per year bike the event, and in the last 12 years they’ve raised over $4,000,000.

This year’s event is being held on June 18, right around the summer solstice, so there is as much daylight as possible. I’ve signed up and have already made a bit of money in donations. But that’s only part of it. I have to ride my bike, a lot! Slowly getting my legs and butt used to riding for 17 hours will take me almost six months of training. I’ve already been riding a bit outdoors, and have spent many hours riding on the bike trainer in the basement.

I have to raise a minimum of $2,500 to participate. Anyone who would like to donate and get a tax receipt can go to www.ride2survive.ca. Under the “Donor Info” tab, do a search in the “Donate Now” section under my name (Wayne Little). You can also e-mail or Facebook message me, and I can send you a link.

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