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Not a runner? You can ride your bike at this new Port Coquitlam event to raise money for the Terry Fox Foundation

The new Port Coquitlam Ride for Hope on July 7 is a family-friendly 24-km loop along easy, flat gravel trails.
Bill Jones is organizing Port Coquitlam's first Ride of Hope to help raise money for the Terry Fox Foundation's ongoing effort to help cancer research.

Bill Jones is helping put a new spin on Port Coquitlam’s beloved Terry Fox Hometown Run that raises money for cancer research.

The founder of Tri-Cities Bikes and Brews is organizing the city’s first Ride of Hope that’s scheduled to take place July 7 at the Hyde Creek Recreation Centre.

Jones said the 24 km loop that circumnavigates the city on the Traboulay PoCo Trail is a slimmer, family-friendly version of the much more ambitious 350 km effort started in 2015 by Terry’s brother, Darrell, to commemorate the 35th anniversary of his Marathon of Hope.

That ride has since spawned other such initiatives across the country, including a massive 360 km pedal from Port Coquitlam to Chilliwack via Zero Avenue along the Canada/U.S. border and Harrison Hot Springs.

“That takes a lot of training,” said Jones, adding the new hometown ride is easy enough for cyclists of all ages and abilities as it’s mostly on flat, wide trails away from traffic.

Jones said the goal for the inaugural ride is to raise a modest $5,000, but he’s hoping to replicate some of the pomp and excitement that have made the annual Hometown Run in September such a popular and iconic event. He said there will be a bike mechanic on hand to fix little problems and ensure everyone can ride safely and other flourishes are in the works.

The ride is free to join. You can pre-register and donate at the event’s special page on the Terry Fox Foundation’s website or you can sign on the morning of.

Jones said he’s seen the Tri-Cities cycling community evolve quite rapidly since moving to Port Coquitlam from Manchester, England.

His Bikes and Brews Facebook page now has more than 1,000 members and the group’s weekly casual rides that generally begin or end at one of the area’s myriad craft breweries have increased participation at least five-fold since 2022.

Jones said part of that invigoration is due to improvements to the local network of cycling routes, like the new separated lanes on Guildford Way, that are increasing comfort levels. The growing popularity of e-bikes has also brought out new or renewed riders eager to explore their environs in the fresh air and get a bit of exercise along the way.

"There's a lot more casual cyclists around."

Jones said it’s fitting the enduring decades-long embrace local residents have for the annual fundraising run that celebrates the courage and determination Port Coquitlam’s Terry Fox showed when he embarked on his cross-country adventure to raise money to fight cancers like the one that cost him his leg and, when his run was but half over, his life, now be supplemented by a complementary bike ride.

“It’s a great way to participate and get involved,” he said. "It’s all about raising awareness."