With 3011 riders, nearly 1000 crew, and $11.2 million for cancer research, the BC Cancer Foundation has just broken nearly every nonprofit record in this province.
This past weekend, 3011 participants took to the trails and roadways of rural BC and Washington state for the annual Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. The event, which is annually supported by Enbridge and many other amazing corporate sponsors, leads riders through a winding path of hills and long flats as they travel 240 kilometres from Fraser Downs in Surrey to Redmond, Washington over a tough two-day stretch.
The event, declared a tremendous success by BC Cancer Foundation CEO Doug Nelson, offers those who are willing to surpass the necessary $2500 fundraising barrier with a huge amount of amenities and support prior to the tedious journey – a truly unique aspect that surely contributed to the success of this weekend’s event. Helpful classes, tune-ups, and training rides allow every rider to be at their very best come riding day. Despite a torrid downfall on the first day of this year’s event, 3011 riders of all ages, shapes, and sizes still managed to cross the finish line on day two.
The Ride was not without its fair share of emotion. Bikers who rode with yellow flags on their rear wheels identified themselves as cancer survivors or even current patients, and always received their fair share of the cheers and applause from friendly passersby. In truly moving fashion, the finish line was adorned with a giant video screen that played caring messages from friends, family, and supporters as riders crossed it.
As a member of the Traffic and Safety crew, I had a particularly engaged perspective on just how much effort was put into an event of this magnitude and, after the experience, I am truly humbled and amazed. For all those that may have any doubts, The Ride is an event that cannot be easily matched in the world of nonprofit – hundreds of buses, trucks, and volunteers needed to be put to good use to ensure its success. Despite all of the potential issues, everyone came together to make it all happen. Congratulations to everyone involved, and see you on the journey in 2013 – I’ll be riding it!
I will also be chronicling my progress and experience as a rider as it happens! Don’t forget to check back on VanCity Buzz to hear what it’s like to participate in the biggest charity event in BC!