Red Deer cyclist to ride for cancer research

Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer

Ken Schulzke wants to encourage Red Deerians to get out their bicycles and join him in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer in August.

It will be the 53-year-old Red Deer resident’s first time participating in the two-day, 200-km event that raises research money for the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

“It’s not too late for others to join in. I’d sure like to be part of a Red Deer team,” Schulzke said.

Since his cousin biked in the Ride to Conquer Cancer in Ontario a few years ago, Schulzke has been thinking about getting involved in Alberta.

In 1998, Schulzke lost his brother-in-law to leukemia, and his dad is a three-time cancer survivor.

Schulzke said he is grateful for the medical advances and technology that allowed his dad to beat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, prostate, and skin cancers.

He finally made the decision to join the fundraiser on Christmas Day after he received a wooden plague in a gift exchange that said — The bicycle is the simple solution to some of the world’s most complicated problems.

“I took that as a sign from above. You’ve been thinking about it — do it.”

He said cancer has touched his family way too often and it was time to help out.

The 9th annual Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer runs Aug. 12 and 13. Riders cycle from Calgary and along the Rocky Mountains where they camp one night before cycling back Calgary.

In 2016, a total of 1,402 riders raised $6.35 million.

Schulzke, who is vice-president of marketing strategy and advertising with Western Canada Lottery Corporation in Stettler, said the most he’s cycled so far was 100 km in one day, doing 50 km in the morning and 50 in the afternoon. He also did 75 km in one stretch.

“Back in my younger years I did lots of half marathons in Red Deer and I know that your adrenalin can get you the rest of the way on day one. I don’t know what’s going to happen day two,” he laughed.

“I’m hoping for my own personal wind source right behind me the whole way.”

The recreational bike rider, who has been taking spin classes this winter, said athletic events like Ride To Conquer Cancer are quite uplifting and he looks forward to the challenge.

“There are so many people wishing you well, cheering you on, your heart just soars doing it. Then you think of the reason you’re doing it, it helps even more.”

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