EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — This year, the longest annual charity bike ride in the world will run through El Paso, raising funds for cancer research along the way.
The Texas 4000 for Cancer 2021 team will ride more than 4,000 miles to raise money for cancer research, as well as share hope and knowledge in more than 200 communities. The teams will start and end in Austin, and cross through El Paso from June 11 to June 13.
The team has more than 80 students from the University of Texas at Austin, including a native El Pasoan, who will make the ride over the course of 70 days starting Saturday. The mission of the ride is to help in the fight against cancer. The team’s four routes include Sierra, Rockies, Ozarks and Smoky Mountains. The team riding through El Paso is taking the Rockies route, which will bike to Alaska and then head back to Austin.
Officials with the Texas 4000 said the entire team has been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in efforts to protect each other and people in the communities they will travel through. CDC COVID-19 protocols and guidelines will also be be followed.
COVID-19 has also affected efforts to prevent cancer, as fewer people have ventured out for wellness checks, the team said.
“All of us at Texas 4000 for Cancer realize the importance of our cancer awareness and prevention message having seen the significant drops in cancer preventive checks since the start of the global pandemic. The 2021 team knows that cancer hasn’t stopped and that spreading our cancer fighting message is needed more now than ever,” said Scott Crews, Texas 4000 Executive Director. “The 2021 team has persevered through may obstacles to prepare for this summer’s ride and their passion for sharing hope, knowledge and charity in the fight against cancer has not diminished.”
Texas 4000 for Cancer said it’s cultivated students leaders and engaged communities in the fight against cancer for 18 years. Every year, students from UT Austin begin an 18-month leadership development program and prepare their bodies, minds and hearts for the ride.
More than $12.1 million have been raised collectively from riders who have pedaled more than 5.3 million miles and affected many lives.
“These young women and men each have a story of how cancer has touched their life. They have made a commitment to make a difference in the fight against cancer, which is especially important given the decreases in cancer preventative checks since the start of the pandemic,” said Kerry Rupp, chair of the Texas 4000 Board of Directors. “I couldn’t be prouder of them and their leadership in the fight against cancer.”