With the money his late sister left him, Rob Geier bought a road bike.
The Lake Country resident and former district councillor lost his sister to cancer last year and Geier is honouring her memory by using his new bike to raise money for cancer research.
“Everybody is touched by cancer. Everybody knows somebody close that has been touched by cancer,” he said.
This past weekend, he rode with his daughter Robynn Geier in the Ride to Conquer Cancer which took place over two days from Vancouver to Seattle.
Each day they travelled 125 kilometres, a total of 250 km for the weekend. All funds raised were donated to the BC Cancer Foundation.
“I just lost my sister last year. She had gifted some money to my brothers and I, and I thought ‘OK, what am I going to do with this money?’ I got back into cycling because I haven’t been riding in 30 years,” he said.
When contacted, Rob’s wife Deb Geier said father and daughter had a tough, moving experience on the ride.
“We were all deeply moved by the stories that were shared on the morning of the first day,” said Deb. “Such sadness, such a display of courage to overcome or battle through this disease. Riders who are currently fighting cancer had a yellow flag marking their bike and they all completed this ride.”
Deb said that Rob shared that he was motivated not only by cycling with his daughter, but also with the 1,902 other cyclists. He said he could’ve quit 10 times but was pushed on just by being part of the greater cause.
It’s been a lifestyle change for Geier.
“It forces me to train… I was biking to Vernon and back,” he said, noting it made him realize he has to take care of himself.
“It’ll be an emotional ride, a lot of time to think and reflect on my sister.”
The pair rode with Team Finn.
A retired teacher, Geier trained for the ride in between working part-time at the Oyama Zipline Adventure Park. Geier said he wasn‘t worried about not being able to finish the ride.
“It’s just if my body is going to like me on Sunday night,” he said. “What I saw with my sister and dealing with her cancer… a little bit of pain in the butt is not going to deter me from finishing.”
It was Robynn’s idea, as she works at the Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, he said.
Thousands started their ride at 6 a.m. Saturday, cycling along the coast before reaching Mt. Vernon late Saturday afternoon.
Together, the Geier’s raised more than $6,000.
“We were happy we could get $3,000 each,” he said. “You hear stories about cancer survivors and a lot of it is because of the research,” he said.
Lake Country Mayor James Baker donated to Geier’s cause.
Baker had a nephew who died from leukemia and a sister who had breast cancer.
Former councillor Owen Dickie died from his battle with cancer in March.
“Anything that can add towards getting better therapies is worth supporting,” Baker said. “It affects a lot of people and I think it’s a worthwhile cause.”