After losing a close friend to cancer last year, Karin Piche decided she wanted to do more to fight the deadly disease.
A licensed practical nurse and longtime fitness instructor, Piche is forming a northern B.C. team to participate in the annual Ride to Conquer Cancer in the Lower Mainland. She already has 22 team members signed up to participate in the two-day ride from Vancouver to Seattle in June and with each rider expected to raise a minimum of $2,500, she expects the squad will bring in lots of money for the B.C. Cancer Foundation. Most of the team hails from Prince George, but she's also recruited some from further afield.
The team, dubbed the Wheelin' Warriors of the North, has a Facebook page set up, featuring team members telling their stories of why they decided to join the ride.
"The day I registered my team, the name came to me in a dream," Piche said of how she came up with the moniker.
The issue really struck a chord with Piche a couple of years ago when her friend Nola was diagnosed with skin cancer - a condition which proved to be fatal. By participating in the ride, Piche hopes to honour her friend, promote a healthy lifestyle and raise funds to fight the disease.
"My goal is to raise a lot of money, bottom line," she said.
Despite only getting into road cycling last year, Piche is dedicated to the cause. She said the team has a few novice riders like herself, but other team members have participated in similar multi-day rides in the past and will be able to provide support and guidance to the other team members.
Although each member will be responsible for their own training, Piche is hoping to get some group practice time together including some rides through Prince George in the spring to promote their efforts.
"I'm really excited," she said. "We have a highly motivated team."
The team held its first fundraiser on Friday, a bake sale at UHNBC. Piche has plans to hold another bake sale at the hospital on Feb. 1 and further fundraisers will be planned in the coming months.