The Livestrong Texas 4000 For Cancer is the longest charity ride in the world, and every summer a group of dedicated and extrordinary students make the ride from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska.
This year after a long ride from Kings Canyon National Park, they stopped off in North Fork, at the home of Barry and Nina Shrewsbury, to rest up and re-energize with a home cooked dinner of smoked wild turkey and wild pig, and a hot shower to wash off a hard day on the road.
With dinner on the table and the tents pitched for the night, everyone relaxes and talks about the journey so far. These riders have ridden well over 1,000 miles, and have much farther to go.
But the pain and strain is worth each second for these riders, many of whom have a friend or relative engaged in a battle with cancer.
“I ride for my Aunt Susan, who was diagnosed with breast cancer just over one year ago,” says rider Kelsey Fall, a Seattle native and University of Texas student.
“Even while going through chemotherapy and radiation, she somehow managed to race in a national rowing competition. I’ll never understand how she managed it, and she is one of my biggest inspirations. She ‘kicked cancer’s butt’ and I can’t wait to see her, happy and healthy as I remember.”
The group of 23 riders, part of 3 teams that left Austin on June 1, spent the night with their hosts in North Fork, resting and playing instuments by the fire, swimming in the pool and planning for the days ahead.
On Monday morning, after a hearty breakfast of local eggs, bacon, sausage and toast to get everyone fueled up, the riders set out for the next stop on their long journey, Yosemite National Park.