Harry Bishop had big goals heading into a 112-km bike ride Saturday.
The ride marked the fifth time the 84-year-old had participated in the Tour de Cure – an annual event that raises money and awareness for cancer research. It’s a ride close to Bishop’s heart as he has lost his mother, grandmother, brother, cousin, aunt, and this year his sister, Myrle Andersen, to the disease. The ride, previously known as the Ride to Conquer Cancer, was cancelled last year due to COVID-19.
“I’ve lost too many family members to cancer, so I just keep doing this as long as I can do it. It’s the least I can do,” Bishop said. “My first ride was in 2016, so this is my fifth year.”
Bishop set out from Lone Butte Saturday with a goal to bike all the way to the tip of South Green Lake and back, a trip of roughly 112 kilometres. He was joined by local resident Debbie Baronit, who undertook the ride as part of her fitness regime. Besides the cattleguards, Bishop’s biggest concern was the uphill trek as he left Lone Butte.
He was right to be concerned: the steep hill, combined with lung damage from this summer’s wildfire smoke, forced Bishop to end his ride early. He was disappointed he wasn’t able to make it the whole way but said he intends to try again next year.
“To date, I’ve raised $2,525. My target was $1,000 before Aug. 28,” Bishop said. “This community is absolutely phenomenal when it comes to something like this. I have so many people who sponsor me every year.”
Bishop, one of the oldest riders in Canada, usually takes part in the ride as a member of Maple Ridge’s Braniacs team but due to COVID has decided to stay closer to home. He specifically thanked the Williams Lake and District Credit Union, which donated $500.