Texas 4000 Bike Riders roll into McBride

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The Texas 4000 Bike Riders arrived in McBride on the evening of July 12 and took advantage of the stopover to eat, sleep and prepare for the continuation of their trip. A total of 22 riders, who are fundraising for cancer, are following a route along the Rockies that starts at Austin, Texas, and ends at Anchorage, Alaska.

Initially 71 riders started out from Austin, and on day two the groups split, with 22 taking the Rockies route, the second of the original routes established in 2004. The original route, the Sierra, crosses the southwestern states and enters Canada through the Winnipeg area. The newest and third of the routes, the Ozarks, was formed in 2013 and follows a coastal path heading north.

In an interview with The Valley Sentinel, spokesperson Bevin Baughn talked about their journey. Prior to their daily departure, the group forms a tight circle and speaks to why they are doing what they are doing, for who they are cycling for, and any personal message that they wish to pass on. There is also an acknowledgement for the cyclist of the day from the prior day’s riding. Every six days the group rotates the caravan and support team, but they all love the cycling and taking in the beautiful scenery. For many this is their first visit to Canada.

Qualification to participate as a rider involves community volunteer hours as well as 1,500 training hours with one’s team prior to the ride, all this over and above their required fundraising commitment. Each rider must have a minimum donation commitment of $4,500. The group trains together for 18 months in preparation for the trip. This year’s group includes 13 graduates from the University of Texas.

On the side of the trailer carrying support supplies, the notation of hope, knowledge and charity is the message that one sees. They share their Knowledge by bringing life-saving information about cancer prevention to communities, and providing leadership development training for the participants as tomorrow’s leaders. They share Charity by contributing to cancer research and cancer support services. They share Hope by letting those touched by cancer know that they are riding for them and fighting toward a world without cancer.

Their slogan, which is on the back of their uniforms, is “Fighting cancer every mile”. The riders average approximately 70 to 80 miles per day and have had a day of 125 miles, which is a real push. They rely on the generosity of local host families, churches and schools for shelter and the riders will camp when housing is not available.

In McBride the group again, as in past years, was housed at the Anglican/United Church and were treated to a supper and Monday morning breakfast before starting out on their next leg of the trip for the day, being Purden Lake Provincial Park. Mayor Martin visited with the group on Sunday night and, according to Baughn it was “pretty cool” to have the Mayor visit with them.

These folks that briefly visited our community are a nice group of young adults, respectful, appreciative of the support they get, and most of all, “enjoying their trip”.

As of July 13 the groups were on the forty-ninth day of their adventure. They plan to meet up on day 60 in Whitehorse and then continue on together to their final destination of Anchorage.

Written by Allan Frederick

See original article here