Harry Bishop is getting on his bike again, and he’s planning to go the distance.
Bishop, 82, will be participating for the fourth year in the Annual Ride to Conquer Cancer on Aug. 24 and 25.
“I’m going to try to do the whole works because I got a new bike,” said the former South Caribooer who now calls Salmon Arm home.
The new bike is a 12-speed rally tour composite bike one of his cousins bought. The cousin never used it and Bishop said it was still sitting in the basement with bubble wrap on the seat. Bishop told his cousin he would do any work for him, free of charge, as long as he could ride the bike. The cousin obliged.
In the past three years, Bishop said he hasn’t practised before the big ride, mostly because of the logging trucks going down Highway 24.
“I’ve never trained. I don’t try at all, I just go. [But] this year I’m going to ride before once I get settled in Salmon Arm in my RV.”
Bishop is also aiming to raise $3,000 this year.
“Last year, I pledged $2,500 and I met it and beat it,” he said. “I should hit it [the $3,000 pledge]. I’m getting better, and I’m getting more people pledging, mostly friends and family.”
He doesn’t solicit local businesses because they are so busy donating to local services groups such as the Lions, Rotary Club and the like, he said.
The last four years, said Bishop, has been a fluke. He said he learned about the ride by accident and registered right away. He can’t remember how he learned about it, whether it was a poster at a bike shop in Kelowna, TV or elsewhere. But he’s doing it because he’s lost a lot of people to cancer.
“So long as I can do it, I’m going to keep on doing it because I lost my brother and my mum, an aunt, two cousins. Too many. It’s the least I can do…As long as I’m mobile and can ride
Since he started riding four years ago, he’s lost a sister-in-law, a brother-in-law, a cousin and a few close friends.
The ride starts in Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Grounds and ends at the Hope and District Recreation Centre.