June 4/08 1:21 am - Popping the Cork: Sears National Kids Cancer Ride Is Underway
Posted by Editoress on 06/4/08
Popping the Cork for the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride
By Erica Timmerman
On Monday morning (June 2nd) a team of cyclists, who are riding on behalf of childhood cancer, were at the BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver for a community ride as well as popping the cork on their 19-day, 7600 ride across Canada.
50 cyclists from all over Canada will participate in The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride will visit 11 children's hospitals as theyn push themselves to the limit to get to Halifax by June 20.
Martin Roy, one of the national riders from Maniwaki, Quebec, was a little nervous about the arduous journey but believes it will be well worth it when he sees who he is riding for.
"This ride will be very physical but when we visit the patients at oncology units and see the difficulties of the disease, any minor pains we may experience while riding will go out the window. It will be our energy. It is going to help us cross Canada."
Along the way there will be stage rides set up in different cities when people can join the cyclists for 25km or more, depending on the location. All the donations will go straight back into the community to support research, education and survivorship programs for children and their families impacted by cancer.
Jeff Rushton, one of the founders for the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride says he doesn't think of the event as work because he already has a job, but likes to look at it as an extension of a balanced life.
"We want to be seen as the fundraising voice for childhood cancer in Canada. 100 per cent of the donations go to the charities because we are a volunteer-based program and because of corporate sponsorships and in doing so we create sustainable funding so that kids can live with and beyond cancer."
Once the opening ceremony finished in Vancouver the riders headed out on their way to the next stage ride in Edmonton by cycling non-stop and through the Rockies.
Jenn Davies, a national rider from Kelowna, BC, says she was ready for the terrain because she has trained through it, but admits that riding at night will be intimidating.
Roy agrees but adds, "we will be pushing ourselves whether we are ready or not because we've trained for six months, so we may not know but we're anxious to go."