EUREKA, CA (KIEM) – Students from the University of Texas at Austin bike along the North Coast for Cancer Research. They call it the Texas 4000 for Cancer, and according to them its the longest running charity bike ride in the world.
Putting on a helmet, drinking water and pedaling across the country is exactly what 28 college students are doing. They started their ride from the UT Austin Campus. They’re on a 4,000 mile 70-day bike ride to Anchorage Alaska. This is something they all had to train for.
“We all have to accumulate about 2000 training miles before we get to embark. It’s a benchmark requirement. So yes, we’ve been training all around through the Austin area, through the West Hills down there,” said Maria Krychniak, a Texas 4000 for Cancer Research Biker.
They’re pedaling to raise money for cancer research. But beyond that, each rider has a personal reason why they’re cycling up the northwest.
“For the majority part, Texas 4000 is mostly women. But there’s not a lot of minorities in this organization. I want to set an example, not just for my sister, but for other young girls,” said Cristina Sanchez, a Texas 4000 for Cancer Research Biker.
Cristina Sanchez is riding for her grandfather, who passed away from lung cancer.
“He passed away when I was in fifth grade. He’s the one who that setup all the family traditions, such as fishing, grilling. Once he passed away, it was just very very sad, because my dad and my uncles no longer really wanted to embark on those traditions again,” said Sanchez.
Before the students are able to get on a bike for the trip to Alaska, they have to raise over $4,500. But the cause is well worth it.
“So how we do that, is usually we just send out letters or emails or ask family friends, community members to help fund our journey. Other than that, we usually go panhandle, which is where we take signs and buckets out to the streets and kind of ask for money,” said Krychniak.
The Austin Bikers are camping at Redwoods State Park Monday night. You can follow their ride over to Anchorage Alaska by going to their website Texas4000.org.