File photo Al McNabb cycled laps around the city for 24 hours last weekend, raising $2,800 for cancer research.

24-hour ride raises $2,800 for childhood cancer

Retired firefighter does laps around White Rock, cycling 471 kilometres

Al McNabb lapped White Rock 38 times last weekend, logging 471 kilometres and 16,000 feet of climbing.

It wasn’t quite the distance the retired city firefighter was hoping to cover in his marathon quest to raise funds and awareness in the name of childhood cancer. He figured he’d complete around 45 laps and 500 kilometres.

But he’s not complaining – he knows it had an impact.

“It went really well,” McNabb told Peace Arch News Monday, of his 24-hour effort.

“Lots of people were talking.”

McNabb, 57, planned the ride in support of his commitment to this year’s National Kids Cancer Ride. Taking place over 18 days in September, it will see 32 cyclists – including the Langley resident himself – pedal, relay-style from White Rock to Halifax, in the name of childhood cancer.

With teammate Rochelle Davidson, a Vancouver cancer survivor, McNabb is aiming to raise $25,000 for the cause. Last weekend’s effort put him $2,800 closer to the goal. Most of that was deposited into cans being shaken by supporters at a tent set up at Memorial Park, he said.

McNabb credited his supporters – who included his sons Chris and Kevin – with making the 24-hour ride a success. They manned the tent and came out at all hours to help, providing food, coffee, company and even massaging his legs when they began to tire early Saturday.

“I just had to pedal. Everybody else did the work,” he said.

Motorists, he added, were “really good” – showing courtesy on the road, and chatting at red lights. He’s certain a miniature companion that joined him until nightfall – “LC”, a wooden figurine he carried on his back – helped highlight the cause.

“People were actually stopping and talking about (why I was riding). It was great on the awareness field.”

After two days of rest, McNabb got back to training for September’s ride.

For more information, or to donate, visit nationalkidscancerride.com