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Hannah Simon – Day 53: Stone Mountain Provincial Park
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Hannah Simon – Day 51: Buckinghorse River Provincial Park, BC
Hannah Simon – Day 50: Fort St. John, BC
Katherine Bomar – Day 42 to Day 48
About 27 riders stopped in Fort St. John this weekend on a cross-country charity bicycle trip from Austin, Texas, to Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday.
These University of Texas students have helped raise $670,000 so far for cancer research as part of this year’s annual Texas 4000 trip — named for the 4000 miles it will take to complete their journey.
One of these riders is Ryan Terrebonne. He said he was riding to honour his grandpa, who died of colon cancer when Terrebone was very young.
“He let us do everything we wanted to do, basically, and he’s someone I’d want to be for my children,” he said.
Terrebone was one of 71 students competitively selected for an 18-month program to train for the 70-day long bike ride.
The Texas 4000 program has three routes for riders.
The riders who came through Fort St. John were on the “Ozarks” trip, which took them through New Orleans, Missouri, Chicago, Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. The riders began pedalling last May, and hope to enter Anchorage on Aug. 6.
Terrebone said he enjoyed the bike ride so far, and enjoyed seeing roadside sights like the giant Ukrainian egg in Vegreville, and a giant model beaver in Beaverlodge, both in Alberta.
One of Terrebone’s co-riders, Josh Hernandez, has also appreciated the sights.
“I have loved every single second I have been here, from Manitoba all the way here to B.C.,” he said. “The views have been astonishing, just so beautiful, so serene.”
But the trip has not always been easy.
Hernandez and many other riders have biked from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. At the end of one day of rain and other turbulent weather, Hernandez said he cried from relief and other emotions.
This trip has helped turn him into a different person, he explained.
“We’re using so much of ourselves, getting experience; so much emotion is going each and every day,” he said. “I’m so much different then when I started.”
Hernandez has also been impressed with the people he has met in Canada.
“Everybody’s so alive, so joyful,” he added. “I love that cities go dead in the weekends because they’re going out to the lakes, going out camping.”
On Saturday, they had reached Fort St. John, where members of the local Rotary club put them up for the night.
“It’s an amazing thing they’re doing,” said Fort St. John Rotary Club President Harold Goodwin.
“This happens to be the last post in the frontier before they go into the north. Based on what they’re doing, what they’re achieving, we felt an obligation to help them because here on in it’s pretty slim pickings until they get into Alaska.”
For his part, riders like Terrebone are grateful for the help they’ve received.
“Being from the south, we always hear about southern hospitality,” explained Terrebone. “We feel like up here in Canada, we still receive a lot of that, and it reminds us of home.”
See original article here