NANAIMO — In August, Roy Jack, 46, a member of the Ahousaht First Nation, will cycle from Vancouver to Edmonton to raise money for childhood cancer research, as part of the Great Cycle Challenge, Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper reported.
“Kids should be living life, not fighting for it,” stated Jack’s Great Cycle Challenge profile, where people can contribute to his project. “Please support me by making a donation to give these kids the brighter futures they deserve. Your support will change little lives.”
Jack announced a CAD$5,000target but actually hopes to generate twice the denomination with his cross-province ride. As of January 29, he has raised CAD$190 of his fundraising goal.
This will not be Jack’s first long-distance bike ride for charity, either. In August 2020, he cycled 1,500 kilometres and raised about CAD$5,600 — a personal record. Then, Jack began training in June 2020 by going on long rides in preparation for the voyage. This year, he plans to start training in March by cycling 100-200 kilometres several times a month.
According to his Great Cycle Challenge page, Jack ranks 10th in British Columbia and 47th in Canada.
He said that in 2020, his initiative gained a lot of online traction, which led to strangers supporting his cause and helping him exceed CAD$5,000 and set his new fundraising record.
“I have a lot of support and not just local,” he said about the contributions he received from the US. “It grows a lot more and more each year.”
According to his profile, Jack hopes to ride a total of 2,000 kilometres in support of the Great Cycle Challenge. His Vancouver-Edmonton odyssey will fulfill 1,200 kilometres of that goal.
“I’m hoping that it would be a six or seven-day trip,” Jack said, who had already enlisted the help of business owners to sponsor his fundraising journey. This is the fifth consecutive year that he had participated in the charitable challenge.
Jack also plans to rent an RV to accompany him during his long-distance cycle, so he could sleep in the vehicle at night. This would mean someone would join him for the venture, and although he would want his wife to tag along, Jack has not recruited a travel partner yet.
He told Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper that his plans are often circumscribed by budget. “Usually, my barriers are financial for what I can do,” he said.
Jack currently has his eye on a CAD$4,000 bicycle to replace the one he has been riding for the last few years. According to him, his currency bike is not suitable for a multi-day ride and would actually encumber his journey.
“It would take quite a bit longer, and it would be a lot more excruciating for me,” Jack said, hoping to acquire a lighter, more aerodynamic bike before the event.
Established in 2016 by the SickKids Foundation, Canada’s Great Cycle Challenge is held annually across the country. People of all ages and abilities set a personal cycle goal to raise funds for the cause.
“We’re riding to give these kids the brighter futures they deserve,” the website stated.
“We believe that any one individual can make their personal impact to fight cancer and save little lives.”According to the website, participants have cycled 12,580,838 kilometres and raised CAD$21,612,147 towards childhood cancer research in the first five years of the initiative.
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