For seven hours, Port Simpson residents were lapped by bikers training for a 200km ride from Vancouver to Seattle.
Team Prince Rupert has members from the city, Port Edward and Lax Kw’alaams participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, presented by Silver Wheaton, on August 27-28. It was Dayna Tait’s idea to organize the bike-a-thon to help her train in the last weekend of July.
Tait, a resident of Port Simpson, already made headlines in 2012 and 2013 when she swam more than 52 km to Prince Rupert to raise awareness for cancer after her uncle was diagnosed.
“This is my first year of biking. Totally different from what I normally do,” she said.
In 2009, when her uncle found out he had cancer, she said she didn’t know what to do. She started thinking about what she could do for him to show that other people cared about his health. “I ended up training myself for a year. I planned a swim from Port Simpson to Prince Rupert. It took me a year to plan.”
Every morning before work she used the pool and weight room to train. Then on June 21, 2012 she successfully completed the swim. People asked her why she would do it for cancer, even her father questioned why she would do such a daring swim.
“I told them it was to bring awareness of cancer and how it can affect anybody. When I came off the beach, I hugged my dad and he told me that now he’s going to take the test for cancer and that he’s not scared,” Tait said.
When her father was tested the doctors discovered he had the beginning stages of cancer, but it was controllable. The Ride to Conquer Cancer is meant to raise the same awareness, which is why Tait decided to forgo her epic swim for an epic bike ride.
She was sponsored by Farwest Sports, Broadwater and Oliver’s Market to purchase a bike for the ride.
“At first I was pretty nervous but I had open arms with the team right at the beginning. It didn’t matter who I was or where I was from,” she said.
The team of 12 riders supported Tait this month to join her on the seven hour ride in Lax Kw’alaams. She wanted to feel what it would be like to ride for seven hours straight in preparation for the Ride to Conquer Cancer.
“I’ve been biking here for an hour and I do something else on weekends, like swimming. I’ve been biking the same route and I see these guys post about riding on the highway. I’ve just been in the village riding these hills,” she said.
Apparently, those hills are pretty intense as noted by her teammates when they came to ride with her on July 30. After their practice run, Tait feels ready for the cycling event.
“I’m really looking forward to this Ride to Conquer Cancer. I heard how epic it was for them when they started,” she said.
The team has already raised more than $31,400 for the BC Cancer Foundation. There are events held across the country and the cycling fundraiser has raised more than $70 million for cancer research and enhancements to care since it began in 2009.