Round-the-clock ride for childhood cancer

Retired White Rock firefighter plans to circle the city for 24 hours straight

Circling the City of White Rock for 24 hours straight may not be the average person’s idea of a good time, but retired White Rock firefighter Al McNabb is ready to roll – literally – with the idea, to benefit kids with cancer.

Today (Friday) at 5 p.m., he’ll set off from the pier, ride west to Bergstrom Street, north to North Bluff Road, east to Stayte Road and then back to head west along Marine Drive.

Then he’ll repeat, and repeat and repeat – he estimates around 45 times – until 5 p.m. Saturday.

McNabb figures he’ll log 500 kilometres by the time he’s done, and he’s hopeful he’ll hear an encouraging honk along the way – especially through the early-morning hours.

The effort is to benefit his commitment as part of the National Kids Cancer Ride, in which 32 cyclists will pedal, relay-style, from White Rock to Halifax this September, in the name of childhood cancer.

In that event, each cyclist will ride up to 220 kilometres per day. McNabb, one of four riders from B.C., said by the time they get to Halifax on day 18, he’ll have pedalled 4,700 kilometres.

The 57-year-old – a Langley resident – committed to the ride last fall, and hopes this weekend’s 24-hour effort will give his fundraising a boost. With teammate Rochelle Davidson, a Vancouver cancer survivor, he’s aiming to raise $25,000.

He’s also hopeful a wee passenger he has committed to bring along for both rides will catch the public’s eye. Dubbed ‘LC’, the wooden figurine will make both journeys strapped to McNabb’s back.

Weighing about 10 pounds, LC was connected to McNabb during a recent charity event, when a number of attendees committed to donate a total of $5,000 to the family of a recently diagnosed cancer sufferer if McNabb would carry the figurine across Canada.

“That raised $5,000 for that family. I’m never going to say no,” McNabb said.

The cause is close to McNabb’s heart. His first wife died of a childhood cancer – ependymoma – in 2001. She was 39.

And McNabb is no stranger to charity cycling efforts. He’s participated in the Ride2Survive seven times; and rode across Canada in 2010 as part of the White Rock firefighters’ Shore2Shore fundraiser for Variety the Children’s Charity.

To donate to his latest fundraising effort, visit nationalkidscancerride.com

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