Community Papers

Wheelin’ Warriors ready to hit the road

There are many things about the Wheelin’ Warriors of the North which could be chalked up as coincidence.

The picture on their team page at www.conquercancder.ca is not one of them. Team captain Karin Piche knew exactly what she wanted.

“My friend who was taking the picture asked why I wanted the shot to be me holding my bicycle up in the air. I told her I wanted it to look the same as the ride’s logo.”

For Piche, the June 15 and 16 ride from Vancouver to Seattle will be the culmination of a dream – literally.

“The name, Wheelin’ Warriors of the North, came to me in a dream,” she says. “I woke up with the name, and I knew it was perfect.”

The decision to put a local team in the ride, a fundraiser for the BC Cancer Foundation, was one Piche had been thinking about for some time.

“I started softly recruiting with people I knew from my work in the fitness world in Prince George. I figured for some of them, going on the ride would be a good motivator.”

Piche has been involved in the health and fitness industry for more than 25 years, working as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, fitness director and fitness club general manager. She had been looking at the Ride to Conquer Cancer for a while, but was taking a nursing program and didn’t want to take anything else on.

“I graduated in August 2012 and got a job as an LPN at the beginning of October..”

With that taken care of, she decided to take the plunge.

“In June, a longtime friend of mine named Nola passed away from skin cancer. She passed away while I was taking my finals, and in our class picture at CNC, the flag is at half-mast for her, because she worked at the school.”

In mid-November, she “bit the bullet” and registered her team with Conquer Cancer. At that time, the team was one person – her.

“I knew nothing about organizing a team or anything, so I told them I would probably be calling to ask for a lot of help.”

The head office noticed something about the Wheelin’ Warriors of the North: The team was growing – fast.

”When we got up to around 15 or 20 people, they realized we were serious about this, and they called me to see what kind of help I needed. They’ve been great, and the whole community here has been fantastic in supporting the team.”

One thing becomes clear talking to Piche about the team and the ride, and it’s something other people already know.

“My friends know when I decide to do something, it’s pretty much done.”

The team, ranging in age from 16 to 72, now has close to 30 riders, each with their own reason for taking part in the Ride to Conquer Cancer.

“We’re making an extra commitment to take part, coming all the way from Prince George.”

Following a bake sale last week at the hospital, Piche has ideas for a number of other fundraisers for the tea, including a dinner and dance at the Treasure Cove Casino.For more information on the Ride to Conquer Cancer, visit the website at www.conquercancer.ca, where you can also find a page dedicated to the Wheelin’ Warriors of the North.

 

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