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Las Vegas cyclists pedal in honor of children who are battling cancer.
Some ride for exercise, some for competition, and some for hope. In Las Vegas, you can ride for all three.
On April 20, the Riders for Candlelighters Kids will pedal for an extraordinary cause. 2013 marks the Riders for Candlelighters cycling team’s fourth year. The team trains for nearly four months to prepare for the 40-, 75-, or 100-mile Tour de Summerlin, symbolizing a collective commitment to help end childhood cancer.
Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada (CCCFN) is a nonprofit organization that helps families affected by cancer. Its mission is to provide support, education, and advocacy for children who are diagnosed with cancer and their families. The team is comprised of novice, intermediate, and experienced cyclists.
Team members kicked off their progressive training programs at the end of January. In addition to volunteer mentors and a coach, members receive a training manual, nutrition and hydration information, access to bicycle repair clinics, a team pasta dinner, weekly training rides, event registration, and jerseys. In return, each rider commits to raise at least $1,000.
Last year, a team of 60 cyclists raised $81,000. This year, the goal is $100,000. “We know we can do it,” says coach and CCCFN board member Chris Parker. “We’re not only dedicated as individuals, we’re dedicated as a team.”
The motivation behind this two-wheel journey goes beyond fundraising. It symbolizes the hope that anyone can overcome great challenges. “I asked a first-time rider how many miles she thought she could do,” says mentor and board member Paul Chaffee. “She told me 50. I assured her she was capable of 60. She crossed the 75-mile finish line, along with more than 50 riders who previously believed it was an impossible feat.”
April 20 marks the Tour de Summerlin’s 12th anniversary.