Every year, for the nine years, Penticton resident Shawna Fletcher’s summer culminates with an annual two-day cycling weekend, one she trains for throughout the spring and summer.
It’s called the BC Lung Association’s annual Bicycle Trek for Life and Breath, and it’s coming up Sept. 7-8.
Part fundraiser, part weekend getaway, Trek is a fully supported, two-day, 200-kilmetre ride from Fort Langley to Cultus Lake and back. Participants do the distance in support of the one in five Canadians affected by lung disease and in return organizers provide a fully-supported, fun and feast-filled weekend cycling experience.
“Shawna has raised well over $10,000 in support of vital lung health research, education and patient support programs over the years. We’re extraordinarily grateful for her ongoing support,” said Marissa McFadyen, events manager for the BC Lung Association.
“I love seeing all the riders – young, old, seasoned veterans – listening to their stories, sharing the experience, enjoying the food. Everyone is so positive and supportive,” said Fletcher who attends to the event with her partner Doreen, who doesn’t ride, but supports the event as a volunteer instead.
“Trek is truly a great weekend – and at the same time a chance to make a difference in the lives of others. And the staff do such a great job. They sincerely care and work hard to make sure we have the best experience possible. I’m hoping by spreading the word, I can help make Trek a tradition for more people!”
Trek is different from other heavily advertised charity rides, said McFadyen,
“It’s not an event or fundraiser surrounded by the same fanfare as other large charity rides, but that’s why it’s so special.
“And you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete,” she continued.
“Anyone can manage the 200 km with a bit of training through the spring and summer months. Most Trekkers go at their own pace, taking regular breaks, stopping to enjoy the rest stops and snacks, and sharing laughs along the way.”
Last September organizers welcomed Trekkers ranging in age from 18 to 77 years old – with most Trekkers falling in the 35 to 65 age range.
This year 250-plus Trekkers are anticipated – about half of whom are veterans who show up year in and year out.
To participate Trekkers pay a $25 registration fee and commit to fundraising a minimum of $650 in donations.
To make a donation in support of Shawna Fletcher’s efforts, visit bicycletrek.ca, click donate, and find her by name.
All proceeds help fund vital research, education and advocacy programs in support of the one in five Canadians affected by lung disease.