FARMINGTON – Cyclists from the University of Texas will make a pit stop this weekend in Farmington along a 4,000-mile route meant to heighten awareness about cancer and raise money for family support services.
The organization, Texas 4000, includes more than 80 cyclists this year and has had more than 900 participants complete the ride since the organization started it in 2004.
The ride is from Austin to Anchorage.
Each student on the ride raises $4,500, rides 2,000 training miles with his or her team, volunteers more than 50 hours in the community, and plays an active role in planning every aspect of the ride to Alaska by attending weekly meetings and taking leadership positions within the team, according to the Texas 4000 website. The mission of the Texas 4000 is hope, knowledge and charity.
“We share hope by letting those touched by cancer know that we are riding for them and fighting for a world without cancer,” the website said. “We share knowledge by bringing lifesaving information about cancer prevention to communities and providing leadership development training to tomorrow’s leaders. We share charity by contributing to cancer research and cancer support services while developing the next generation of volunteers and philanthropists.”
The ride is more than twice as long as the Tour de France, according to a news release sent by the San Juan Medical Foundation.
There are legs, or routes to the trip. The one involving this area is the Rockies Route. The cyclists will travel from Texas through New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Canada and Alaska. For 70 days, the cyclists will trek through rain, sleet, wind, snow and heat.
Every morning, the members dedicate their ride in memory or in honor of a cancer fighter. On Sunday, as the cyclists depart the area to head to their next stop in Pagosa Springs, there will be a special send off and dedication for which the community is invited to turnout at 8 a.m. at the San Juan Medical Foundation, 730 S. Lake St.