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Cantrex BDM Darryl Wilks sets $10,000 goal for upcoming Ride 2 Survive PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael J. Knell   
VANCOUVER (19 February 2010) - Darryl Wilks will Ride 2 Survive for the second time this June, cycling from Kelowna to Delta in a single day as part of a major fundraising effort to raise a total of $500,000 in support of the Canadian Cancer Society.

Wilks, a business development manager in Cantrex's electronics and photography division in Western Canada, has a personal goal of $10,000.

The 2010 edition of the Ride 2 Survive will be held on 19 June 2010.

Darryl Wilks in training for the Ride 2 Survive.
"Like too many Canadians, cancer has been devastating to my family," Wilks says, noting that he has lost both his mother and his elder brother to the disease while his sister is not a ten-year survivor.

"In 2009, I attended six memorials for friends that lost their personal battles with cancer," he explains, adding that the recent diagnosis of his 42-year old niece, a new mother, with colon cancer that motivated his beyond his annual door-to-door fundraising for Canadian Cancer Society.

Ride 2 Survive was started in 2005 by 15 cyclists from British Columbia who wanted to find a way to support one of their number who had lost a son to cancer. That year they raised $17,000 and donated all of it to the society.

The concept was simple:  to cycle from Kelowna to Delta in one day, a distance of 400 kilometres and a climb of 12,000 feet up mountain passes - a journey that would take total of 15 hours.

Last year, the fifth anniversary of the event, a total of 135 cyclists raised $440,000.

Wilks became aware of Ride 2 Survive through the fitness centre he attends. Three of the "spin class" instructors are key R2S participants and used parts of the actual ride to simulate effort on a spin bike.

"Never did I imagine that a 59 year old, fit but not really fit would consider doing such an event. I had not ridden a bicycle for more than 30 minutes in over 45 years and it is a huge leap from a stationery spin bike to a road bike," Wilks says.

In March 2009, Wilks went to a bicycle said at an R2S sponsoring cycle shop and acquired his ride.

"It was the smartest thing I have done in many years. The people in the cycling community are incredible," he enthuses, adding that he rode his first event last June.

Riders have the option of riding solo - which is all the way without taking off any of the legs or riding in relay with others. In many ways, doing the entire trip this way is considered more difficult than any leg of the Tour de France, cycling premier international event.

"This is not a race, it is paced over ten legs held throughout the day," Wilks explains, adding that most rest stops are no more than ten minutes although there are two big stops - one in the morning and other for dinner.  The average rider uses 12,000 calories or more over the course of the day.

Ride Day itself is supported totally by volunteers and 100% of the money raised goes to front line cancer research.

"Not one cent is spent on advertising and not one cent of donor money will go to the costs of a rider or volunteer participating in the event," Wilks says, adding that the Canadian Cancer Society even picks up the cost of online credit card transactions.

Last year, Wilks' donors pledged over $5,400. He also created a raffle that raised an additional $10,000. The grand prize was a Toshiba 46-inch LCD television that was donated by now-retired Toshiba Canada vice president Pat Costello, himself a cancer survivor.

Wilks did not canvas his Cantrex associates or the company for support in 2009 as the company undertakes its own fundraising initiatives in support of the Canadian Cancer Society including a "blue jean Friday" event for all staff members. Cantrex's parent company - Sears Canada - is an official sponsor of the Kids for Canada cycling event.

Wilks is riding solo again in 2010 and is currently in training for the event, which will see him cycle a total of 4,000 kilometres before ride day.

Anyone interested in pledging support for his efforts - or that of any other rider - should visit the event's web site at and open the ‘donate now' tab and enter his name. The rest is managed by Canadian Cancer Society security and each donor will receive a tax deductible receipt.

"There is a comment box on each donation and I would really appreciate knowing who I am doing the ride for," Wilks said.

HGO readers can also e-mail him at

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