McDermott raised thousands for cancer research in gruelling 19-hour bike ride

The prospect of biking nearly halfway across a province in one day may seem daunting to even the most seasoned of cyclists.

The prospect of biking nearly halfway across a province in one day may seem daunting to even the most seasoned of cyclists.

But that’s exactly what Sylvan Lake’s Scott McDermott did late last month, all in the name of a good cause.

McDermott was one of 100 cyclists who took part in Ride2Survive — a bicycle trek from Kelowna, B.C. to Delta in Metro Vancouver, in support of cancer research.

Though extremely physically demanding and exhausting, he felt the 19-hour, approximately 400-km ride was well worth the effort.

“We ride in a lot of pain, but people with cancer are in that kind of pain all day, every day,” he said. “We know that at the end of (the ride), we can get off our bikes and the pain stops, but it doesn’t for them.”

Through the event, McDermott raised about $3,600 for Canadian Cancer Society. His participation and fundraising were a tribute to two of his good friends who have died in recent years.

One of those friends was Stacy Larsen, lost to cancer in 2011. The other was Rob Mason, a former Ride2Survive participant who perished in a mountain biking accident in 2012.

This year’s Ride2Survive was McDermott’s second, and he assures it won’t be his last. As a completely volunteer-run event with participants covering their own expenses, Ride2Survive donates 100 per cent of proceeds raised directly to Canadian Cancer Society.

That, McDermott feels, is just part of what makes it so great.

“A lot of fundraisers have become big businesses and the administrative costs range,” he said. “The highest I’ve ever seen is 91 per cent administration costs. This one was zero. That’s what I love about it.”

Participants left Kelowna at 3:30 a.m., and arrived in Delta around 11 p.m.

Along the way, they encountered a variety of terrains, ranging from steep mountain inclines to flat, pot hole-marked roads.

They travelled as a pack, and together took 11 breaks. Nine of those breaks were less than ten minutes long, two were thirty minutes in length.

Riders made use of the lengthier two to consume as much hot food as possible before continuing along the road.

The group moved in a 50-pair formation, in what McDermott described as “one big string” of riders.

He said the sense of teamwork and encouragement among them was strong.

“One of the cool things about the ride is if you’re going up a steep climb, and somebody’s not strong enough, you just put your hand on their back give them a little push. It’s very co-operative.”

McDermott admits the ride left him tired, sore and not wanting to sit on a bike for a couple of weeks. The more-than-half-a-million dollars that the group collectively raised for Canadian Cancer Society, however, made it all worthwhile, he said.

“100 people on bicycles and some volunteers raised over $550,000 for cancer research this year, and none of it is wasted. That’s what floors me,” he said. “It’s hard as hell, but it’s just so worth it.”


Just Posted

Child advocacy centre raising funds through Dream Home Lottery

The child advocacy centre in Red Deer uses its resources to help kids all over Central Alberta

Sylvan Lake Atom C Lakers end season on low note

The Lakers played their final home game of the season, Feb. 16.

RDC Kings Hockey to play charity game in Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake Community Partners was chosen by the Kings as the Charity of Choice for the Feb. 22 game

Bibles for Grads 2019 looking for names of Grade 12 students

Bibles for Grads is an annual tradition in Sylvan Lake dating back more than 20 years.

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

Hee-Won Son takes home gold in 500m Female Short Track Speed Skating

Team Alberta sits in second place overall at the Canada Winter Games

Shots fired in Maskwacis home invasion

Maskwacis RCMP are searching for three suspects in a home invasion (with photos)

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Crude-by-rail shipments set new record in December despite lower price discounts

Canada exported nearly 354,000 barrels per day of oil, up seven per cent from November

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

Most Read