Prince Rupert’s cycling enthusiasts had an opportunity to get their bikes ready for the summer and support a cause close to home on June 23.
The city’s Ride to Conquer Cancer team hosted a repair station at Tim Hortons on Second Avenue West where they tuned gears, tightened brakes and lubed chains to make sure Rupertites get the most out of their bikes this season. They also collected $1,274.70 in donations that will go toward the team’s fundraising total for this year’s ride.
“It’s a good way to get citizens of Prince Rupert back on their bikes, back on the road with a healthy lifestyle which will help to prevent cancer,” said Steve Weir, a long time rider with the team and one of the event’s organizers. “Our first two or three people were people who haven’t ridden their bikes lately because they just weren’t road ready, so hopefully after today when they go home and get their helmets we’ll see them on the road.”
Every year for the past 10 years, the Prince Rupert contingent has collected money and participated in the annual ride from Vancouver to Seattle. Proceeds from those efforts go to support cancer research and awareness education through the BC Cancer Foundation.
This year, Weir said the funds he raises will go specifically to research focusing on brain cancers in honour of Prince Rupert Rapids swimmer Isaac Mastroianni, who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.
“We’re doing this now so that hopefully in 10 or 20 years, Isaac’s children will look at the chemo and radiation treatments the same way we look at bloodletting today as being strange,” Weir said.
Mastroianni was there with his family, and said it was overwhelming to see both the support for himself and cancer research.
“It means the world to me that they’re doing this,” he said. “So many people in this town are so supportive and it’s nice to know that people are willing to help.”
Tim Hortons also participated in the event by selling smile cookies, the proceeds from which will be donated to the 2018 Ride to Conquer Cancer team.