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Over 5,200 participants gathered to ride 200km+ through Ontario on June 7-8 for the 2014 Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. The seventh annual cycling event is the largest of its kind in Canada and raised $20 million in support of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, one of the top five cancer research centres in the world.
Steve Merker, Vice President of Business Development at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation (The PMCF), has overseen the event since its inception. Having watched the event grow steadily over seven years, Merker says that he is always moved and humbled by the raw emotion exhibited by the thousands of Ride participants.
"It's always striking to see all of those bikes parked at camp after the first day [of the Ride]," said Merker. "The number of bikes represents a tidal wave of support leading to accelerated cancer research at the Princess Margaret."
Bikes marked with yellow flags also provide hope by representing Riders who have chosen to identify themselves as cancer survivors or who are currently battling cancer.
'All bikes, all ages'
"This past weekend, I participated in my second Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. For me and my husband, Brian, it was a 220 km, two-day ride that was an incredible experience I will long cherish," said Lydia Lee, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, University Health Network and SIMS Partnership. "This is truly an event of all shapes and sizes, all ethnic backgrounds, all bike types and all ages. You are just your name tag on your bike and everyone talks to everyone on the road. It is an example of what a peaceful world should be."
"And I want to give an extra special shout out to Paul Alofs and Denise Dorfman of The PMCF, who led this Ride to another hugely successful year," added Lee. "Yes, I burst into tears again crossing the finish line. I miss you dad. And yes, I registered again for next year."
The eighth annual Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer in Ontario will be held June 13-14, 2015.
To find out more about the 2015 Ride to Conquer Cancer or to support a local Rider, please visit