Harry Bishop, the self-proclaimed oldest teenager in 100 Mile House, will be riding his bicycle from Cloverdale to Hope on Aug. 25 to 26. The two-day 200-kilometre race is the 10th Annual Ride to Conquer Cancer, a fundraiser for the BC Cancer Foundation.
“I’m ready to go,” he said.
This will be the third time the 81-year-old Bishop will compete in the ride, although he was only allowed to ride the finish line last year due to a surgery on his retina.
“I had retina detachment surgery four times and I’m all done now and my eye will never be the same,” the welder by trade said.
The first year he did the ride, in 2016, he ended up biking a total of 57 kilometres when the race was still from Cloverdale to Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA (25 kilometres east of Seattle).
He didn’t do the 57 kilometres ride straight but in leaps. The first year, he cycled from the start, straight through customs at the Blaine Border Crossing until he got to Birch Bay.
A support crew picked him and his bike up and transported him to the next pit stop, where he got back on to the bike and rode through two more pit stops before the crew took his bike again until the last pit stop where he rode to the finish line from.
This year though, he’s not content on just watching and cheering on his Cyclepath Cyclotrons teammates.
“This year I would like to do more, I’d like to do it all but I know I won’t,” he said. “It’s a different ride this year because we’re all in Canada. It should be an easier ride because there was a lot of hills on the last ride. But geez, you’d go through some beautiful farm country and all that down in the States. It was awesome.”
The race route was changed this year to celebrate the Canada Cancer Foundation’s 10-year anniversary for the Ride to Conquer Cancer.
Despite not riding last year, Bishop surpassed his goal of $2,500 by $95. His share was part of the $68,108 the Cyclepath Cyclotrons team collected last year.
He has pledged $2,500 again this year and he said he doesn’t anticipate any problem in reaching it, as he has passed it twice already but has set a personal target of $3,000.
Bishop has been personally affected by cancer, losing a mother, brother, two cousins and brother-in-law and many friends to the disease, which claims the lives of eight people per hour in Canada, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.
“I thank God every day for my feet hitting the floor,” he said.