Vernon’s Peter Byrnes rides in the Canadian Great Cycle Challenge to combat children’s cancer. (Photo Submitted)

Vernon’s Byrnes conquers cancer cycle

Raises cash to combat children’s disease

A stormy night last week forced him to spend 90 minutes indoors on a wind trainer. He used a headlamp to cover 40 kilometres on the Rail Trail from his home near Vernon Golf & Country Club to Oyama. His longest trek was a 111-kilometre jaunt to the Shuswap and back.

Peter Brynes is done. The 51-year-old Highland Elementary School Grade 5 teacher cycled 1,003.9 kilometres in June, raising almost $2,100 for the Canadian Great Cycle Challenge.

“I finished in the morning on the magical day, the 30th,” laughed Byrnes. “I did a 28-k loop out around Lavington. I went for a ride the next day too.”

RELATED: Vernon’s Byrnes cycling for cancer

According to the Great Cycle Challenge website, as of Wednesday’s dinner hour, a total of 18,240 riders covered 2.3 million kilometres and raised close to $3.9 million to combat childhood cancer.

“Donations are still open until the 27th so they should crack four (million) by the time it’s done,” said Byrnes, who will compete in the World Sprint Triathlon in his native Australia in September with buddy Mark Wehner of Armstrong.

“The journey physically, geographically and emotionally has been incredible,” wrote Byrnes on his Facebook page. “Logistically, if I rode 33 km every day, 1,000 km would be easy. But just like the kids fighting cancer, there were good days and bad days. Some days, I would plan to ride 40, 60 or 80 km after work, and I would come home and sleep.

“I was rained out, flatted out, and worn out. But other days, the support of friends and family lifted me and I had wings. People shared their hearts and stories. Cancer has touched my life and the lives of so many. The ride after 30 days is over for me but the battle against cancer for kids will continue. Many will lose the battle but the number of stories of children winning the battle is on the rise. Thanks for being part of the cure.”

Byrnes, a Vernon father of two, spun and swim in the Kal RATS Sprint Triathlon two weeks ago at Kin Beach.

He said a pop up on Facebook invited him to ride in support of conquering children’s cancer. He lost three close relatives in the last two years to cancer so he understood the pain, uncertainty and heartbreak associated with the disease.

More than 1,400 children are diagnosed with cancer every year, and it’s the biggest killer of children from disease in Canada. Statistics show 27 children in Canada are diagnosed with cancer every week.

You may donate by visiting: https://greatcyclechallenge.ca/Riders/PeterByrnes

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton group growing produce for those in need

Garden box project aims to provide ‘dirt therapy’ and supply Penticton with more fresh produce

Shoppers line up hours early for reopening of Penticton’s Care Closet Thrift Store

The not-for-profit thrift store supports several local organizations and charities

Summerland man rescued following ATV accident

Helicopters used to transport injured man to Kelowna for treatment

South Okanagan playgrounds now open

Once caution tape is removed, playgrounds are officially open for public use

Moog and Friends Hospice hopes to raise $30,000 this month

Donations give hospice a chance to win an additional cash prize of $20,000

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Kelowna Mountie faces internal review after ‘uncooperative’ arrest

“A thorough internal review of this officer’s actions is currently underway,” said Kelowna RCMP Supt. Brent Mundle.

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

B.C. NDP says Andrew Wilkinson is wrong about federal link

Morning Start: #BlackLivesMatter started with a love letter

Your morning start for Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Parent, superintendent, trustee report smooth return to classrooms in B.C.

The biggest challenge is convincing families that it’s safe, some say

High water levels on Shuswap Lake may close popular Canoe Beach

Rain forecast could flood entrance tunnel, city staff to evaluate

189 homes in Grand Forks area given evacuation orders

Homes are in the Nursery, Grand Forks Airport, Gilpin Rd., Johnson Flats and Granby Rd. areas

Mother bear and two cubs spotted in West Kelowna

Residents of Shannon Lake are urged to be on the look out for three bears in the area

Social justice advocate yells at Kelowna council, demands presence at Black Lives Matter rally

Heather Friesen has again taken to council chambers to make her opinion heard

Most Read