Texas 4000 cycles through Peace Region

The 26 cyclists who make up the Ozark’s Route of Texas 4000 made a quick stop in Fort St. John on Saturday before continuing their 4,000+ mile trek to Anchorage, Alaska early the next morning.

These riders make up one of three routes in which the University of Texas endorses each year, aimed at cycling throughout North America while raising money and awareness for cancer.

“Every day, I wake up excited to be on the bike,” said Christina Pai, who freshly graduated from the university’s School of Nursing this spring. “There are definitely some tough moments, but the days are never bad. Just having our teammates here and spreading the mission together, that’s the most important thing to me.”

It’s the 12th year the university has supported the program. Each year, hundreds of graduates and undergraduates apply for a position with Texas 4000. Of those, roughly 200 are given an interview with the school’s faculty, with only a few dozen selected for the team afterwards.

According to the Texas 4000 website, the squad has raised nearly $700,000 in the fight against cancer this year.

“Every morning, we start the ride with what are called ‘ride dedications’,” said cyclist Levi Joseph, who’s in his fourth and final year of the Honours Humanity Program with the University of Texas. “On those tough days where you have another hill, it’s raining, a lot of us will dig deep and think about the people we’re here for.”

Each chosen applicant must have some sort of personal connection to cancer to be chosen, whether it’s through a family member or close friend.

One rider, 23 year old Joshua Yap, re-applied for a fifth year at U of T after failing to be selected in two previous attempts.

“My parents weren’t too happy about that,” said Yap with a smile. “I picked up a few loans to be able to do it. But I think it means a lot to me, and I’m really glad I’m here now.”

The Rotary Club of Fort St. John welcomed the cyclists to their RV park in Charlie Lake for a steak dinner, and comfortable overnight accommodations before the cyclists departed early the next morning.

If you would like to donate to Texas 4000, click here.

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