BY BILL PHILLIPS
If you’re looking to challenge yourself, why not embark on a 200-kilometre bike ride over two days.
That’s exactly what Sandra Cardenas is doing. Adding to the challenge is the fact she hasn’t ridden a bike for years. Cardenas has signed up as one of the newest members of the Wheelin’ Warriors of the North and will ride in this year’s Ride to Conquer Cancer in August.
“A few week ago I was thinking I needed a new challenge,” she says. “I just wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone. You how you get to that certain point in your life where you feel comfortable, so I just needed a challenge … learning something new or getting a new skill.”
Perhaps coincidentally, or perhaps by fate, she received a message from a friend suggesting that she join the Wheelin’ Warriors of the North.
“My first response was ‘I don’t even bike,’” she says. “I don’t even own a bike. I haven’t been on a bike in 20 years.”
The idea, however, had been planted and Cardenas, already looking for a new challenge, did some research on the Wheelin’ Warriors of the North and the Ride to Conquer Cancer. The idea resonated. Cardenas, like most, knows people who have been affected by cancer. She also teaches Zumba as a hobby and sees people who have survived cancer, or are undergoing treatment, come through her classes.
“It’s a good cause, it means something to me and it will take me out of my comfort zone completely,” she says.
She has already been to a couple of the Wheelin’ Warrior’s spin classes, so she’s already started training for the long bike ride.
“I’m going to be super ready,” she says.
While getting on a bike might pose a challenge for Cardenas, asking for donations for her ride is likely even a bigger challenge. Riders commit to raising $2,500, which will go towards the B.C. Cancer Foundation. So rather than just canvas people and businesses, she has decided on a couple of unique fundraisers.
One of those fundraisers will be to teach Spanish. She is putting together a six-week course that will entail 12 hours of instruction.
“I’m going to do Spanish for Travellers,” she says.
The course will be offered for a donation to her Wheelin’ Warriors total. She put the offer out on the Facebook and has already had plenty of response so if you’re interested, get your name in.
She will also be putting her talents as a Zumba instructor to work with Zumba events to raise money. She has done these in the past to raise funds for the Relay for Life and, most recently, helping Camille MacDonald raise funds for Boogie With the Stars.
“We did a Zumba event and we had over 200 people and she raised more than $2,000 with that event,” Cardenas says, adding that the tables are now turned and MacDonald will help her out this time.
The Zumba experience will, obviously, help Cardenas get ready for the Ride to Conquer Cancer as well.
The Ride to Conquer Cancer goes August 25-26 and involves a bike ride from Vancouver to Hope, and back.