Rider heading to P.G.

Since 2004, Dorrie Sharcott has made the city an oasis for hundreds of young people on a grueling bike trip to raise money for cancer research.

Participants of Texas 4000 – the world’s longest annual charity ride – pass through Prince George every year on the way to Alaska from Austin, Texas, and every year Sharcott’s extended family grows exponentially.

“I keep in contact with as many of them as I can,” said Sharcott of the University of Texas students who participate in the two routes of the 4,000-mile (6,437-kilometre) trip that stop in the Prince George – there’s a third route that passes further north. “The only reason I’m on Facebook is because of that.”

On Monday, Sharcott will welcome the first of the 2014 riders travelling through the Rockies who will stay for a day of rest on Tuesday before setting out on Wednesday morning for Vanderhoof. The second group, taking the route through the Sierra mountain range will arrive in P.G. on July 21.

Sharcott opens her home as a gathering place and arranges the students’ overnight accommodations.

Having lost family members of her own to cancer, Sharcott supports the efforts of the fundraiser. But her decade-long involvement has as much to do with the yearly participants as the underlying cause.

“I’ve got so much love for this group,” she said.

Charelle EVELYN / Prince George Citizen

The Prince George Citizen. July 11, 2014.