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Cyclists gear up for 10th annual Climb to Conquer Cancer on April 21

SALUDA — “Everybody’s been affected by cancer,” said John Cash, one of the area’s premier bicyclists.

Cash should know. Both his parents lost their battles with the disease. 

 Cash has fought back with the same tenacity that has helped him cycle efficiently up the region’s most daunting climbs.

For the 10th year, Cash invites bicyclists to ride with him and other notable riders for up to 10 round trips up and down the Saluda Grade on U.S. 176 for the Climb to Conquer Cancer, a fundrasier for Gibb Cancer Center’s Survivorship program in Spartanburg. This year’s ride is set for Saturday, April 21. 

The ride is a celebration — as were those previous rides — by those who can, helping those who are not able. 

Last year’s ride raised more money (about $11,000) than in any previous year.

“I just want to spark some interest,” Cash said in announcing this year’s edition of the event. 

As in recent years, the ride will begin at the outer (closer to Highway 176) parking lot of Caro-Mi Dining Room, 3231 U.S. Highway 176, between Tryon and Saluda.

Clip-in is at 8 a.m. Riders and their supporters are invited to arrive by 7:30.

Each 4-mile ride up the Grade gains about 1,000 feet of elevation. Repeats are easy, as each climb is followed by a stimulating descent. 

As in recent years, Buck’s Pizza, of Tryon, will provide some of its pies, and Rize will provide its energy drinks. Someone from Gibbs Cancer Center’s Survivorship program will be at the site, providing encouragement and information. 

Cash, now on the Gibbs board, helps and encourages the many cancer survivors treated at the facility. 

He also wants individuals to know “how grateful I am that this community is so giving.” 

Rain date is Sunday, April 22, leaving Caro-Mi’s outer parking lot at the same time. 

Riders (all cyclists are invited to ride at least one round trip on the Grade) may receive pledges from individuals or businesses, for a certain amount per “lap” or a flat fee. Riders need not receive pledges, but may also donate to Gibbs. 

Riders (nonriders may also contribute) may bring donations or pledges to the ride site, or drop them off at, or mail them to Nature’s Storehouse, 427 S. Trade St., Tryon, NC 28782. 

Helmets are required for all riders.