Local participants conquer cycling event, raise funds for cancer
It was a rainy weekend for the annual Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, June 23 and 24, but the spirits of the 1,800 cyclists participating were not broken.
This was especially true of local participants Mayor Peter Brown and Airdrie Safeway Manager Greg Dyki, who both said the rain didn’t put a damper on the experience.
“It was an exceptional ride with exceptional views,” said Brown.
“The sore muscles and the weather…it was inconsequential. It’s small potatoes compared to (the survivors) and people who are still battling cancer.”
The two-day cycling event, which saw the participants ride from Spruce Meadows in Calgary to Chain Lakes Provincial Park and back, raised over $8 million for the Alberta Cancer Foundation.
Brown, who had never participated in the ride before, said he decided to take part because he has lost a brother, as well as friends, to cancer and still has a lot of friends fighting it.
“I really wanted to get involved and raise funds and awareness about the fight against cancer, and I was able to raise over $12,000, and our team of three raised over $20,000,” he said.
“What stuck with me the most about the event is that whatever challenges we face in our life, like when it comes to riding a distance or pushing yourself, they are nowhere near the challenges someone faces when they are told they have three months to live or that they have to start chemotherapy to survive.”
Dyki and his team raised over $31,000, an amount he is happy to donate towards cancer research because he has seen many family members battle the disease.
“The reason we did it was to pay back,” Dyki said. “My mom had cancer twice, my sister had breast cancer at a young age, and in the last two years my brother had prostate and liver cancer, so it was time to give back.”
Dyki rode with his brother, who had 70 per cent of his liver removed just 10 months ago, and a few other members of his family. Although his brother wasn’t able to participate in the second day of the ride, Dyki said being able to spend Saturday riding with him was the most memorable part of the event.
“Unfortunately my brother couldn’t handle day two and he didn’t make it to the finish line,” he said.
“I had pretty sore muscles after and said that I would never do it again, but I got a call from (my brother) and he said he wants to (the ride) again in two years, so I said I would.
“We’re very proud of what we accomplished.”
Both Brown and Dyki spoke highly of the event.
“Enbridge did an amazing job,” Dyki said. “There wasn’t a moment where we weren’t looked after, it was top-notch.”
“I can’t say enough about it,” Brown said. “The organizers and volunteers did an awesome job keeping everyone safe and made it a lot fun.”