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Nanaimo rider kept mother in heart during gruelling annual ride

There was nothing easy about this year’s 240-kilometre Ride to Conquer Cancer for Nanaimo’s Deb Trockstad, but she had good reasons to keep on pedaling.

Trockstad, 55, started the two-day cycling event to honour her mother, who died of lung cancer years ago, but on the road she was reminded of why else she joined the trek from Vancouver to Seattle. On the first day of the journey, she spotted a woman surrounded by family and holding up a sign that thanked riders for taking to the asphalt and helping to save her life.

“It brought the reality … of why we were doing all this,” she said. “There was rain and wind and there were times I thought I was the only person on the road. I had muscle aches and my legs were hurting and I was cold. But I just kept going; kept pedalling.”

Trockstad was among more than 2,000 participants who took part in the Ride to Conquer Cancer June 14-15, helping to raise $9.1 million for cancer research.

The Nanaimo resident, who raised $2,830 for the cause, decided to take part last year after her son crossed the finish line. It looked like an “amazing experience” and a good way to honour her mother’s memory, she said, adding it took her six months to train for the ride.

“It was an incredible experience,” she said. “I am so proud I was part of it.”

Next year’s ride is on Aug. 29-30. People can register at www.conquercancer.ca.

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