On June 16 and 17, Adam LaForest will be taking a 140-kilometre journey to conquer cancer.
The Ladysmith resident is participating in the BC Ride to Conquer Cancer, along with the 29 other members of the Nanaimo Rides Again team.
Not only will LaForest be cycling for the two grandmothers he has lost to cancer, but also for the countless others who have been touched by the disease.
“It’s such a sad thing, and I feel like we’re on this earth to make a difference and this is a way I felt I could help to make the world a little better,” said the Nanaimo District Secondary School instructor. “I’ve always supported cancer research and fundraisers and things like that, but then I found out you could go for a bike ride, see some scenery, be a part of a team and be doing it all for a good cause.”
The BC Ride to Conquer Cancer is a 140-kilometre trip from Vancouver, B.C., to Seattle, Wash., over a two-day period. Riders take on the back roads following the I-5, leading to some fantastic scenery.
“The whole goal of it is to bring everyone together and bring awareness of cancer research and the work being done for cancer,” LaForest said.
People can participate individually or in teams, as long as they have raised the mandatory $2,500 to be eligible for the ride.
“They want to make sure that people are really committed to the cause,” LaForest said.
This year will be the third year Nanaimo Rides Again team has participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer.
In the last two years, they have raised about $80,000, and this year, they hope to double that total, LaForest said.
All of the money raised by the Nanaimo Rides Again team stays on Vancouver Island. Last year, funds raised went to the cancer treatment ward at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria.
“We’re really making sure that all of the money raised by our team on the Island stays on the Island to help the residents of Vancouver Island,” said LaForest.
On April 14 and 15, Laforest and a few teammates were able to raise $1,085 toward their fundraising goals by holding a spin-bike booth outside 49th Parallel Grocery in Ladysmith.
“I was really super proud to be a resident of Ladysmith after that weekend,” LaForest said. “They’ve done their part, and it was fantastic.”
LaForest said he has now completed the majority of his own fundraising and is looking forward to being able to spend the next month training for the ride.
Although athletic, LaForest said this will be his first cycling experience.
“It was [daunting] when I first thought about doing it, but being in a team, you go out with people that have done it before,” he said. “You have the support of everyone, and you work together to help each other get to the goal. They show you tricks; they teach you things you need to know when you’re riding.”
To learn more about the BC Ride to Conquer Cancer and donate to LaForest’s ride, click here.