The longest annual charity bicycle ride in the world, the Texas 4000 team, will be rolling through Williams Lake on Saturday, July 19, just 50 days after departing from Austin, TX. on to their final destination of Anchorage, Alaska.
While in Williams Lake, the 2014 Texas 4000 Team will celebrate and share hope, knowledge and charity with friends and family before continuing on their 70-day journey.
Seventy-nine undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Texas at Austin brave the rain, sleet, wind, snow, heat and will pedal more than 7,242 kilometres in support of the fight against cancer. Along their journey, riders will volunteer at community events that contribute in the fight against cancer and visit with cancer survivors, patients, caregivers, and family members to make educational presentations about cancer prevention and early detection. They also use this time to offer hope, encouragement and share their personal stories to cancer fighters of all ages and to those who have been affected by the disease.
“This ride comes with some obvious physical demands and perhaps less than obvious emotional demands,” said Texas 4000 executive director, Jen Garza. “It’s incredibly encouraging for the riders to be supported by the people of Williams Lake, and have the opportunity to share their stories about how they pursue this ride in hopes of living in a cancer-free society.”
In its 11th year, 79 student riders began their journey in Austin on May 31 with a 70-mile community bike ride called ATLAS. From there, the riders head north, separating into three routes: Rockies, Sierra, and Ozarks as they continue on a ride twice as long as the Tour de France.
“The ride itself serves as a metaphor for the difficult battle cancer patients wage each day: A long and difficult road, with hard days and easier ones, good days, and not so good days. This is a difficult trip for me on many levels,” said Ben Morse. “But I have known so many people with cancer who bravely, fiercely, and with determination, fought this dreadful disease. I ride for those people.”
Texas 4000 began 11 years ago when Chris Condit, a University of Texas student and cancer survivor, sought a way to share a message of hope, knowledge and charity to those with cancer. Since then, Texas 4000 has sent more than 400 riders on their bicycles, traveling more than two million miles to honour those affected by cancer. Collectively, these riders have raised more than $4 million for the fight against cancer, funding cancer research projects at MD Anderson Cancer Center, The University of Texas Biomedical Engineering Department, and survivorship programs such as the LIVESTRONG Navigational Services Center.
To learn more about the incredible people that make up the Texas 4000 team, to make a donation or read the riders’ blogs, visit www.texas4000.org.