Charity bike ride for cancer passes through Page

Members of the Texas 4000 Charity Ride for Cancer form a "ride dedication" circle at Lone Rock Primitive Campground on June 18 before setting off on the day's ride.

A group of 24 cyclists riding for the Texas 4000 for Cancer 2022 team pedaled through Page on June 17, on their way from Austin, Texas, to Anchorage, Alaska.

The cyclist are students at the University of Texas at Austin, and the annual ride is aimed at “fighting cancer by sharing hope, knowledge and charity in hundreds of communities” along the route, according to a statement released by the Texas 4000 for Cancer organization.  

“For 19 years, Texas 4000 for Cancer has cultivated student leaders and engaged communities in the fight against cancer through a 4,000-mile bike ride,” the statement said. “Prior to the summer ride, students begin an 18-month leadership development program, preparing their bodies, their minds and their hearts for this mission, which culminates in this life-changing journey.” 

Since 2004, nearly 1,000 students have completed the ride, raised nearly $13 million for cancer research and support services, and logged more than 5.7 million miles.

This year’s 70-day ride started in Texas on June 3, and by the time they reached Page, the cyclists had been pedaling for two weeks. The group camped at Lone Rock Primitive Campground, waking before dawn on June 18 to set off for the day’s destination in Kanab, Utah.

At the start of each day, the cyclists gather in a “ride dedication" circle to remind each other of why they are participating in the trip – including sharing stories from cancer survivors who have approached them during the ride, and acknowledging the generosity of people and businesses who have donated food, drinks and ice along the way.

One of the cyclists, Emma Laub from Houston, Texas, told the Lake Powell Chronicle before departing Lone Rock Campground that the ride has been going “really well” so far.

 “We’re loving the views. We went to the Grand Canyon [the day before reaching Page] and got to look around a bit. There’s been some wind, but we did a lot of training preparing for this, so we’ve been able to instruct each other, like how to avoid the wind,” she said. 

Laub said she was excited about the ride because her dad is an avid cyclist, so she grew up being involved with the sport. 

“It was a great way that I could combine a sport that I love with a really important cause, which is raising money for cancer research and support services,” she said.

“Like some of the other riders, I have family, friends, people who have been impacted by cancer. I’ve met a lot of people who have had really close loved ones pass away from cancer, like a parent or a friend. That’s definitely helped me connect to the mission.”

Another cyclist, Anuj Mocherla from Midland, Texas, said participating in the ride was very inspiring.

“Everyone’s doing this trip for the first time, so no one really knows what to expect when we go into a new community, a new city, a new town. It’s almost like every single time, we’re just graced with even more kindness that kind of humbles us and ties us back to why we do this and who we ride for,” he said.

“Every single day, we find more people to ride for, hearing other people’s stories, whether it’s a gas station donating ice or someone giving us dinner. We hear more about the people around us every time we go to a new place, which is every day, which I think really fuels us every single day to wake up at 4 a.m. and go ride in 100-degree heat.” 

For more information about the ride, visit texas4000.org, instagram.com/texas4000, facebook.com/texas4000 or twitter.com/Texas4000. 

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