John Cash’s annual fundraising ride up Saluda Grade Saturday

Published 11:48 am Friday, June 21, 2013

John Cash riding up Saluda Grade. (photo submitted)

John Cash riding up Saluda Grade. (photo submitted)

Some 28 million people globally are living with cancer. On June 22, local bicyclists can help those folks, plus those who will develop cancer, and have a great riding experience on the Saluda Grade on Highway 176.

Ride organizer John Cash cycles some 9,000 miles per year, including the longest and steepest hills in the region, but he’ll log possibly the most important eighty-four of those when he completes ten round-trips on the grade from the Tryon Youth Center to Saluda, to benefit The Livestrong Foundation and the Gibbs Cancer Center Survivorship program, located in Spartanburg, South Carolina..

This year, the fifth for this event, Cash will be joined by seventeen-time Tour de France competitor George Hincapie. Cash hopes that Hincapie’s presence and participation will draw more riders. Riders can opt for one or as many as ten round-trips on the famous grade.

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Typically, the ride has attracted from 15 to 70 cyclists. “I hope that Hincapie . . . will cause people to come,” said Cash.

Cash notes that the focus of the ride is fundraising.

To date, the event, which began in 2006 as the Palmetto Peloton, has raised about $60,000. Cash notes that the Livestrong Foundation (begun by cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong– Armstrong is no longer connected with Livestrong) returns 91% of donated money to cancer advocacy and awareness, while the 100% of the funds donated to the Gibbs program stay in the community.