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HomeNewsBracebridge cyclist taking part in 10th Ride to Conquer Cancer

Bracebridge cyclist taking part in 10th Ride to Conquer Cancer

Andrew Struthers may be known in Bracebridge as a two-term councillor representing Macaulay Ward, however, long before being elected in 2018, he was already keenly focused on supporting the community.

The Princess Margaret Ride to Conquer Cancer starts on June 8 and will see thousands of cyclists travel from Toronto to Niagara – or vice versa – with a stop in Hamilton to rest in between.

Struthers is taking part in his 10th ride and hoping to add to the over $34,000 he’s raised for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto.

“It’s an absolutely fantastic ride that raises, usually, about $20 million a year for cancer research in Ontario,” he explains.

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Struthers says a friend of his from university went through cancer treatment and last year one of his close friends lost her sister to cancer.

However, he doesn’t ride with one person in mind.

“I just ride so a lot fewer of us have to go through it and a lot fewer of us have to feel the pain of cancer,” says Struthers.

When he was told about the ride, Struthers didn’t even own a bike. “It was a personal journey of fitness and trying to find a cause that I really believe in,” he explains.

Only days after being told about the event by friends, he purchased a bike from Ecclestone Cycle in Bracebridge and spent the next few months training. “That summer, I completed my first 100-kilometre ride ever on my way to Niagara Falls,” he boasts.

Struthers says what he loves about the multi-day ride is that no one is a stranger. “There’s a lot of family and friends that come out and stand along parts of the route with cowbells, signs, they cheer you on and clap,” he says. “It’s that energy that gives you what you need to get through the ride.”

He estimates the route is well over 200 km. On top of the oversight camping spot in Hamilton, Struthers says there are plenty of rest steps along the way. “Just about anybody can do this ride,” he says. “You can ride at your own pace.”

Struthers points out it’s not a race so instead of a number being placed on your bicycle, your name is affixed on your handlebars. “You learn people’s stories,” he continues. “Whether they’re a cancer survivor, whether they’re currently fighting cancer, or how it’s affected them, their family, or their friends. “We’re all affected somehow.”

Anyone wanting to contribute to Struthers can donate through the Ride to Conquer Cancer’s website.

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