Texan cyclists to stop in GP

Texas 4000 Logo

The longest annual charity bike ride in the world is passing through Grande Prairie Thursday.

Twenty seven cyclists participating in the Texas 4000 bicycle tour will be welcomed by the City of Grande Prairie and Revolution Place when they roll in to town.

Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given will meet the group at 108 Avenue and 100 Street at 4:45 p.m., and ride with them to the Bowes Family Gardens where they will be staying.

“The mayor was all over that,” said said Revolution Place manager Jane Cada-Sharp.

The tour takes the brave athletes from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska as a fundraiser for cancer research. To date, the event, which was started in 2004, has raised more than $3 million for the cause.

Each year, students from the University of Texas at Austin are selected to become members of the team. They work together to plan the trip, a process which includes writing letters to potential host venues.

Travel chairwoman for the group, Vanessa Beltran, contacted both the Mayor’s office and Revolution Place to see if either party might host the group. Both responded with an emphatic yes.

“It was an opportunity for us to be great hosts, to show how welcoming we are,” said Cada-Sharp.

“We thought it would be a lot of fun, they will come and hang out and tell us more about what they do, and we will put a roof over their heads and give them a nice breakfast.”

To their credit, each student committed to raise $4,500 and log at least 1,500 training miles in addition to volunteering more than 50 hours in their community.

All of that before the 70 day ride, over which each cyclist will log more than 4,000 riding miles.

By Braeden Jones, Grande Prairie Daily Herald