Starting next year, the BC Cancer Foundation’s Ride to Conquer Cancer will end in Hope.
For the past nine years, the route has started in Cloverdale and ended in Redmond, Wash., just outside of Seattle. Come Aug. 25 and 26, the route will start in Cloverdale and end in Hope. The director of the event, Lindsay Carswell, explained that the decision came down to multiple factors.
Carswell said that keeping the ride in Canada allows for cost savings, “particularly due to the unpredictable currency exchange rate.” He also expects that there will be greater community support and media publicity.
“We also expect to have more engagement from Canadian-based corporate sponsors and we believe that there are a number of participants — and in particular, their supporters — who will now be more in favour of getting involved because it means they don’t have to cross the border,” he said.
Carswell said people from Hope can get involved in the event by participating, volunteering or sponsoring it.
“The funds raised are invested in British Columbia, it makes sense for the communities in the province to be more interested in getting behind the events than the communities we’ve been riding through in Washington state,” he said.
The general route will see a reduction from an average of 120 kilometres per day to about 100. While the exact route has not been confirmed, it will start in Cloverdale, where cyclists will ride the rolling hills on Zero Avenue, pass through Aldergrove, Abbotsford and end in Chilliwack on the first day. On the second day, they will zig zag on the south of Highway 1, then head to Rosedale, Agassiz, Seabird Island and to Hope via Highway 7.
“We really like the idea of finishing in Hope. Riding that distance, for one, is an achievement that people can be proud of, secondly, the area and the views are stunning. And also, you can’t ignore the symbolism of what the journey of Hope represents, it’s just so fitting with our purpose,” said Carswell.
The beneficiary of the event is the BC Cancer Foundation, the fundraising partner of the BC Cancer Agency, which does research.
The change was announced in Mount Vernon, Wash., on Aug. 26, with Mayor Wilfried Vicktor sharing in the announcement.
“This event provides much needed funds for research, community awareness and direct participation in the fight to conquer cancer,” said Mayor Wilfried Vicktor.