Harry Bishop is on a mission to help cure cancer.
The Bridge Lake resident is prepping to take part in the popular cycling fundraiser this summer, now called the Tour de Cure, raising money for the BC Cancer Foundation.
His ride in August will mark the fifth time taking part in the event, for which he has raised more than $10,000.
It’s a cause that is especially important to Bishop, who will be 84 when he embarks on this year’s ride, as the disease has claimed many people close to him.
“I’ve lost several family members to cancer,” he said, noting his mom, brother, cousin and grandmother all died from the disease.
“At the moment, I have a sister who is battling cancer in Parksville.”
READ MORE: Harry Bishop rides for a cure for cancer
After nine successful years as the Ride to Conquer Cancer – which raised more than $7 million for research – the event was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19. This year, it has returned in a new format, where riders can take part in their own communities and embark on whatever route they choose, collecting pledges leading up to the late summer event.
Bishop said he plans to ride from Lone Butte to the south end of Green Lake and back and is encouraging other riders in the community to sign up online and take part Aug. 28.
“If anyone wishes to join me on the ride, they’re welcome to,” he said.
Bishop admits he hasn’t been doing very much riding lately but is slowly working his way back to peak performance shape.
“I have a stationary bike that I can climb on and knock off a few miles,” he said, noting he won’t ride along Highway 24 due to the high volume of logging truck traffic. “I will get myself in physically good condition before I go. I’m working on it now.”
For previous rides, Bishop has pledged upwards of $3,000 – and always met his mark, he said – but this year he is aiming for a more modest $1,000 in donations.
Anyone wishing to help his cause can do so by visiting www.tourdecure.ca and searching Harry Bishop on the main donation page. Bishop said anyone wanting to join him on the ride can call him at 250-395-0877.
He said he feels obliged to continue taking part in the rides “as long as my legs will carry me,” given the important work being done by the cancer foundation for patients and their families.
“I just pray for anyone who is suffering from this disease that they find a cure,” he said. “It’s not just the person themselves, it’s also the families going through it.”