Cyclist Plans 4,500 Mile Bike Ride to Fight Cancer

CORPUS CHRISTI – A swarm of cyclists will take part in the longest annual charity bike ride in the world. The non-profit group called “Texas 4000 for Cancer” will mount their bikes for a 70 day ride. They will start in the heart of Texas and head all the way to Anchorage, Alaska. One local rider, Alex Patlan shares the emotional and physical challenges that come with preparations.

Patlan is one of about 80 cyclists that will clip into his 10-speed bike for a roughly 45-hundred mile ride across the United States and beyond.

“It’s kind of a crazy concept but we’ve been spending the last 18 months planning all of this, we’re planning a route through the Midwest before we cut West through Canada,” Patlan said.

He’s part of “Texas 4000” a student-run, non-profit organization out of the University of Texas. Dozens of students constantly ride, to raise money to fight cancer.

“We’re all required to raise 4-thousand dollars and then we also have to put in a lot of volunteer hours as well as log 15-hundred training miles,” Patlan added.

Patlan, who hasn’t been on bike this much since he was a little kid says, being part of “Texas 4000” is his way to fight cancer for family members who lost their battles.

“I’ve lost both my grandparents on my father’s side, one of my uncles has been fighting for 6 years and one of my uncles has been diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer very recently,” he said.

Safety is a priority for the riders. They use lights and wear reflective clothing and helmets. Plus, the cyclists communicate along the way.

“We call everything that we can on the road, whether that be a small stick on the side of the road or like a huge pothole,” Patlan said.

He says, the overall goal is to ride to raise money for a great cause and touch the lives of those affected by cancer.

The riders leave on May 31st, from Ceder Park, Texas just North of Austin and will complete the ride in August in Anchorage, Alaska.

By Rachel Cole