December 13/12 13:37 pm - Ride2Survive Registration opens
Posted by Editoress on 12/13/12
Coming up almost nine years ago, Kerry Kunzli joined 16 other cyclists for a what seemed like a crazy idea - riding 400 kilometres in one day, through two mountain passes, from Kelowna, B.C., to the Vancouver suburb of Delta. It was a bit of a lark and the group raised a few thousand dollars for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Somehow the gruelling event caught on, and Kerry and his wife, Vicki, who live in Delta, have been organizing the annual Ride2Survive ever since. This year’s ride, on June 22nd, will accept a limited number of riders and crew to participant and raise donation dollars for the Canadian Cancer Society. To date, they have raised almost $2 million with no costs or overhead coming off the donation dollars. This is the largest Independent Charity event run completely by volunteers.
It’s no easy feat. There are more than 3,600 metres of mountain climbs along the route, which takes up to 19 hours to complete. Last year riders were hit with torrential rain and hurricane winds riding in a big peleton with full police escorts.
The fundraising focus of the not-for-profit organization remains on cancer, which has touched the Kunzli family as well as most of the riders. Ride2Survive says 100 per cent of the money raised goes to cancer research; the $200 ride registration fees cover the costs of organizing the event and the group training rides.
“When we first started I thought ‘I’m riding for my dad and brother who passed away from cancer’ and it was about the past,” said Ms. Kunzli. “Somewhere along the line it started to become about the present and the future. I can’t change the past, I can only change the future.”
The couple’s three grown daughters, Kelsy, Aimee and Katie, also help out as volunteers along with more than 50 others. One daughter manages the ground crew, one helps with the welcome in, and one is now on a bike and hopes to ride as part of a relay team. Riders can sign up as solo or relay.
“I see the event as such an inspiration because as a community we pull together,” said Mr. Kunzli, who works for IBM.
“It’s all volunteer. There are no big companies behind this. It’s just a bunch of people who want to do something that’s important and will make a difference to a bunch of people.”
We are grass roots with a big community of volunteers and businesses who help pull this event together. There are 11 total stops, which last 10 minutes or less, with two of these being major food stops.
Registration is open for the June 22, 2013 ride now. Register at www.ride2survive.ca .
Courtesy Vicki Kunzli