From White Rock to Cultus Lake and back again - easy ... right? This 200-kilometre cycling trek on Sept. 7 and 8 is no joke, but for Coquitlam's Cliff Neyedi, 68, it's just another year, another ride.
"It's a love," Neyedi told the Tri-Cities NOW about his cycling habits. "When I go to Maui I put anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200 kilometres on my bike."
This year marks the 19th consecutive time Neyedi is participating in the Bicycle Trek for Life and Breath, a weekend excursion to raise funds for the BC Lung Association.
Approximately one in five British Columbians are living with some form of lung disease, according to the BC Lung Association, a fact Neyedi has known all too well himself.
"I'm a former asthmatic. There was one time I couldn't even walk or ride," he said. "What's the saying? If you can't breathe, nothing else matters."
But after visiting a naturopath, changing his diet and putting in regular exercise, Neyedi hasn't held back from pushing himself physically, even if it means riding to Cultus Lake and back at 68 years old.
"The ride is worth it because they feed you like kings, you spend the night in these little cottages and it's all for a good cause," he said. "And there's the friendship of the group, the camaraderie."
In fact, it's not his body he's worried about, but the journey everyone has to face. "Traffic is the biggest worry," he said. "Some places, there are no bike lanes or even much room for a bicycle to be on the road, so you have to be careful. I mean, I've got 11 grandchildren and four children. I've got reasons to be around."
The BC Lung Association asks riders to get $500 worth of donations before the ride. Neyedi makes it a personal goal to raise between $3,000 and $5,000 each year.
"I'm raising money seven/24/365," he said.
Neyedi has raised more than $50,000 in his 19 years of participation. He's proud of that goal, but doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon.
He has been an avid cyclist practically his whole life. In fact, being active has always been at the top of his list even when it came to his work: longshoreman, construction worker, home inspector.
"I've always lived a very active lifestyle," he said.
The Bicycle Trek for Life and Breath was established in 1984 and has raised nearly $6 million. This year marks the 29th anniversary.
To learn more or to register, call the BC Lung Association at 1-800-665-5864 or visit bicycletrek.ca.
Submitted Photo / Cliff Neyedi has raised more than $50,000 for the BC Lung Association.;
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