Inspired by cycling to beat cancer

A Shuswap resident rode more than 200 kilometres to help beat cancer.

Inspired cycle: Jim Maybee tackled a challenging ride as part of his commitment to ending childhood cancer.

Inspired cycle: Jim Maybee tackled a challenging ride as part of his commitment to ending childhood cancer.

A Shuswap resident rode more than 200 kilometres to help beat cancer.

The Ride to Conquer Cancer on June 14 and 15 saw 2,600 cyclists ride from Vancouver to Seattle and raise $10.4 million for the BC Cancer Foundation this year.

Jim Maybee was riding to raise money for juvenile cancers. As a father, he says the thought of young people suffering from such a terrible disease is heartbreaking. After battling cancer himself in 2002, Maybee has made an effort to do his part in contributing to the battle against cancer.

“I did Movember and I did Relay for Life but this really kind of connects for me,” said Maybee.

The Trailheads owner is an avid cyclist and jumped at the opportunity to raise money for the BC Cancer Foundation by doing what he loves, while also challenging himself to get back on the bike.

He trained for months and tested himself on a 100-kilometre ride a couple of weeks before the race and felt confident. He said the first day of riding went easy with flat ground and several rest stops.

“There was no rush so it really took the panic out of it,” he said.

This was the first year the Ride to Conquer Cancer featured two routes, the classic and the challenge route.

After taking the classic the first day, Maybee decided to push himself farther and ride the challenge route on the second day.

He said the 145-kilometre ride was “awesome” and there were fewer riders, making it even more relaxed than the first day. The scenery, he said, couldn’t be beat.

“It was so worth doing the longer ride,” he said. “I was almost tempted to do another 15-kilometre just so I could say I did a full century.”

On Sunday’s ride, Victoria teen, Xavier Pelletier, was hit by a car and killed on the classic route. Maybee said it was a huge damper on the event and he wasn’t aware of the incident at the time because he wasn’t near it. He said the coordinators kept it quiet.

He noted that the ride poses challenges when riding with large groups of cyclists amidst traffic.

The accident added to the already emotional weekend. Maybee said many stories were shared and the cause only became stronger.

He heard stories about his personal cause, learning brain cancers and leukaemia are most threatening to youth.

“We heard a couple stories at the event that really reinforced why I was doing it,” he said. “Anyone with kids, I think, you always kind of worry and it’s the worst-case scenario because there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Maybee raised $2,722 of his $3,200 goal. The Shuswap’s Al Journeau, Paul Buxton-Carr and Eugene Steckley also rode this year.

Maybee has already signed up for the 2014 Ride to Conquer Cancer and said his new goal is $5,000. He’s starting his fundraising now with five dollars from every bike tune-up at Trailheads going towards the ride.

He’s also hoping to get a team together, saying there was one team with 235 people. If you’re interested in joining the cause, contact Maybee at 517-9617.

“I think raising the funds gives me some hope that we’re going to make a difference down the road and we just have to keep trying.”