Cyclists raising funds for cance research Texas 4000 to make stop in Grande Prairie

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Twenty-eight cyclists from Austin, Texas will soon be rolling into Grande Prairie during the longest annual charity bike ride in the world.

Thursday, the cyclists will stay at Bowes Family Garden at Revolution Place before departing the next morning at 8 a.m. to continue the Texas 4000 bicycle ride.

“We work with them so they can be comfortable and feel like their at home even though they’re in an 18,000 square-foot room,” said Jane Cada-Sharp, general manager of Revolution Place.

“We just do our best to look after them and make them feel welcome not only to Revolution Place but the City of Grande Prairie as well.”

This will be the second year in a row a Texas 4000 team makes a stop in Grande Prairie.

“It was an incredible experience for everyone who is involved, so when they asked if we would be interested in hosting again, we said absolutely,” said Cada-Sharp.

The group, which is riding the Ozarks route of the Texas 4000 trip, also stops in Houston, St. Louis, Madison, Wisconsin, Winnipeg and Edmonton.

Grande Prairie will mark 48th day of a 70 day trip.

In total, 72 undergraduate and graduate students from The University of Texas at Austin ride more than 4,000 miles from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska, using different routes to raise money for cancer research.

Since Texas 4000 began in 2004, the organization has raised more than $4.5 million for cancer research projects.

While in Grande Prairei, the riders will give a brief presentation on Texas 4000 and why they are involved in the event and will have a dinner with local guests, including members of city council, before bedding down for the night.

“It was just hanging out with them and hearing why they’re doing what they’re doing,” said Cada-Sharp.

“Every one of them in some capacity has been touched by cancer.”

Specific space is set aside for the bikes and there is an area for the riders to charge their phones.

“There’s a support vehicle or two that comes with them and they actually very competent on fixing their own bikes and they have parts with them and they have tools with them,” said Cada-Sharp.

“That’s part of the deal when they come in, that the bikes get to have a place to stay too and they’re all placed and looked after.”

New this year is sponsorship from the Grande Prairie Tourism Association to help cover some of the costs of the stay.

“Their cause is noble and it was inspiring that this group of young people will ride a bike that far and over pretty significant terrain to raise money for cancer research,” said Cada-Sharp.

Written by Alexa Huffman

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