Bikes can do a lot. I’ve been racing them for nearly a third of my life, often racking up 10,000 miles per year. I ride almost every single day, and when I don’t, I’m anxious to get back in the saddle.
What has changed for me in the past year, however, is finding adventure more exciting than competition. After racing fifteen to twenty times per season year in and year out, the desire to spend time, money, and energy to compete isn’t quite the same as it used to be. Instead, adventuring for hours in both new and familiar places with my friends is something I’ve spent all winter eagerly anticipating. This June, the first chance to do just that comes along with the opportunity to support a very worthy cause.
Since 2011, LessCancer.org has worked tirelessly to bring a message of cancer prevention to communities in over 40 countries around the world. Their work informs, empowers, and supports change meant to reduce the causes of cancer that are preventable. Diet, environmental carcinogens, and totally preventable factors are responsible for nearly half of all types of cancer. That means we can reduce 50% of deaths, 50% of broken families, 50% of financially ruined individuals. We can save people from the pain of cancer, the loss of cancer, and the experience of cancer, right now. A cure may come, but until then, we can do more.
In Traverse City alone, the idea of using cycling to raise money, awareness, and support isn’t new. There are a number of events that support local charities, non-profits, and organizations. We believe the bike can do incredible things, and cycling can be a vehicle to create change in areas from affordable housing (Racing For Home), youth cycling (Norte), supporting at-risk kids and families (Bike Benzie), and building and protecting trails (NMMBA).
Last year, I joined my first Less Cancer Ride. Over two days and nearly 300 miles, we learned to appreciate being healthy, active, and able to enjoy the sport we love. In 2019, we want to offer that experience to even more people. Our Team Less Cancer will ride Saturday, June 8 from Midland to Traverse City as a way to earn this experience again. On Sunday, we all ride. With distances ranging from 20 miles to 100, everyone can get involved. Even those who can’t ride can support the mission of cancer prevention by donating to the ride, team, or individual of their choosing. Our goal is to raise $200,000 through the event, and every single donation helps.