Maple Ridge's Simone Lylack is gearing up to participate in the BC Lung Association's 28th annual Bicycle Trek for Life and Breath this Sept. 8 and 9.
A two-day, 200-kilometre scenic ride from White Rock to Cultus Lake, the trek is an annual BC Lung Association fundraiser in support of lung health and clean air.
Veteran trekker Lylack first heard about the weekend event when she spotted a trek brochure at a local sports store. That was four years ago - and she's been taking part annually ever since.
"I couldn't believe the BC Lung Association was offering an entire, fully supported weekend of fun for less than $500 fundraising dollars," said Lylack. "So a friend and I decided to give it a try.
Neither of us had proper road bikes at the time, but off we went. Turns out we had the most fun two people could have without ending up in jail."
It just so happens this year's trek falls on her daughter's, and grandson's, birthday. In fact, the trek is the same age as Lylack's daughter - 28.
"I started participating in the event for the adventure, now I do it for my grandson Ethan," explained Lylack. "He has asthma, and some days it's really bad. He even has his own nebulizer to minimize trips to the hospital."
In honour of her grandson, Lylack quit smoking on Aug. 11, 2008. Until that time, Lylack had been a pack-a-day smoker.
Designed for everyone from the occasional rider to the experienced cyclist, the trek is a ride not a race. To get ready, veteran trekker Lylack suggested that the best thing anyone can do to get ready for trek is to put time on the saddle. "You don't have to be fast, you just have to be consistent - or else you'll get a sore bum come ride time - true story!"
"I'll never forget the first year I did the trek. Ethan put on my gloves and helmet and told me when he was big enough, he was going to ride with Grandma," continued Lylack.
"People of all ages from all walks of life take it upon themselves to volunteer and raise funds in support of lung health through the BC Lung Association," said Chris Lam, BC Lung Association development manager.
"More important than anything else is the genuine care and effort everyone puts in - participants and volunteers alike - it is truly inspiring."
"Started by a dozen volunteers 28 years ago, trekkers have helped raise more than $5 million to help fight lung disease. Today the trek consistently attracts as many as 400 cyclists who come out rain or shine," he added.
To participate, trekkers are required to pay a $25 administration fee and raise a minimum donation of $475 by event day.
In return, they travel a fully supported route from start to finish with rest stops and food to fuel their journey.
For more information about the Bicycle Trek for Life and Breath call 604-731-5864 or visit www. bc.lung.ca.