Press Release (ePRNews.com) - AUSTIN, Texas - May 12, 2016 - This summer, 68 student cyclists will ride from Austin to Alaska as part of Texas 4000, the longest annual charity bike ride in the world. For 70 days, the cyclists will pedal together for more than 4,000 miles, beginning June 3 — Day Zero — at the University of Texas campus, where a ceremonial send-off will take place on the LBJ Lawn. Philanthropist and businesswoman Luci Baines Johnson will speak to the group of civic leaders, volunteers, riders, family and friends.
Texas 4000 is more than an endurance ride for cancer. It combines leadership development, physical training, cancer awareness outreach, volunteer opportunities and philanthropic commitment. All riders must apply to be part of the Texas 4000 program, which lasts 18 months from start to finish, and they dedicate themselves to fighting cancer by sharing hope, knowledge and charity.
“Texas 4000 is a journey that takes grit, determination and support — that’s why we think of it as a metaphor for the fight against cancer.”
Each of this year’s riders will take one of three different routes to Alaska (view all route maps via the Texas 4000 website):
· Sierra Route: These riders will head northwest from Austin and cycle through the Southwest to California, then north along the West Coast and into Canada. Major cities along the route include: Albuquerque, NM; Davis, CA; San Francisco, CA; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Vancouver, B.C.
· Rockies Route: These riders will head north from Austin and cut over to the Rocky Mountains. They’ll ride through the western U.S. before crossing the Canadian border into Alberta. Major cities along the route include: Dallas, TX; Oklahoma City, OK; Denver, CO; Helena, MT; Calgary, AB.
· Ozarks Route: These riders will head east from Austin and cut northeast through the American Midwest before crossing the Canadian border and cycling across four Canadian provinces. Major cities along the route include: Houston, TX; St. Louis, MO; Chicago, IL; Minneapolis, MN; Madison, WI; Winnipeg, MB; Edmonton, AB.
In Canada, all three groups will reunite and ride the final 10 days together to Anchorage, Alaska, where the journey has ended since the ride’s inception. On each of the three routes, the riders will make stops along the way to present grants to cancer research and treatment centers.
More than 600 students have made the trek from Austin to Alaska, collectively raising more than $7 million in the fight against cancer since the ride began in 2003.
Most of the students ride for a friend or family member who has battled cancer — and perhaps lost. A few ride in honor of their own battles with cancer, and many simply ride because they want to see an end to cancer, period.
“This is a truly inspiring group of young leaders committed to taking action and joining the fight against cancer,” said David Chayer, who was named executive director of Texas 4000 in 2015. “Texas 4000 is a journey that takes grit, determination and support — that’s why we think of it as a metaphor for the fight against cancer.”
“To me, Texas 4000 is more about the process than the payoff,” said Matthew Schneider, a University of Texas at Austin senior and Sierra Route Ride Director. “What we do is not easy. Sometimes we fail, and sometimes that failure is out of our control. Our success is in perseverance, knowing as a team that we are not alone and that our thoughts and actions can be a pillar of support for others.”
Anyone interested in accompanying the Texas 4000 riders on the first 25, 50 or 70 miles of their journey is invited to participate on June 4 in the Atlas Ride, which launches from Cedar Park. There will be a kick-off party the night before at Builder Homesite Inc.’s headquarters, 11900 RR 620 North in Cedar Park. On June 5, the three route groups will part ways, heading their respective directions until they reunite two months later in Canada.
Shortly after their return home, the riders will celebrate their incredible journey at the Tribute Gala on Saturday, August 27, at the JW Marriott. Tickets and sponsorship levels are now available the Texas 4000 website.
About Texas 4000
Texas 4000 is a nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating student leaders and engaging communities in the fight against cancer. Each year a team of dedicated University of Texas at Austin students brave the elements to complete a more than 4,000-mile bike ride from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska sharing Hope, Knowledge and Charity along the way. Over the course of their 18-month involvement with Texas 4000, riders train, fundraise and develop as leaders and volunteers in the community. As the flagship annual program, the Texas 4000 70-day summer ride is the longest annual charity bike ride in the world. To date, Texas 4000 has raised more than $7 million for the fight against cancer and made grants to organizations such as MD Anderson Cancer Center, the LIVESTRONG Foundation and UT Austin’s Department of Biomedical Engineering. In addition to developing tomorrow’s leaders, Texas 4000 organizes and performs numerous charity events throughout the year including the ATLAS Ride send-off and the Texas 4000 Tribute Gala. Find us at www.texas4000.org, www.facebook.com/texas4000 or https://twitter.com/Texas4000.