PEDALING FOR A PURPOSE: 14th Annual Climb to Conquer Cancer

Published 12:17 pm Wednesday, April 10, 2024

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Charity bike ride up and down Saluda Grade to raise funds, awareness


TRYON—The 14th annual Climb to Conquer Cancer will be held on Saturday, May 11.

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The fundraiser was started by, and is still hosted by, John Cash, the former owner of Nature’s Storehouse in Tryon who lost both his parents and his sister to cancer. Each year, Cash and others complete ten journeys up and down the Saluda Grade, encompassing a total distance of 80 miles, which usually takes the group approximately six hours.

Fourteen years ago, the fundraiser began with a generous offer from a cancer survivor and frequent customer of Cash’s. The patron pledged $100 for every successful bicycle trip up the Saluda Grade. Cash now joins other cyclists to take the challenge annually, pedaling their way up Hwy. 176 between Tryon and Saluda to benefit the Gibbs Cancer Center Survivorship program.

Participants include cancer survivors, those undergoing treatment and others who want to show their solidarity and support. 

The event has also seen the participation of George Hincapie, a renowned cyclist with 17 Tour De France appearances and 5 Olympic participations. Hincapie’s brother Rich and dignitaries from the Gibbs Cancer Center will attend the event.

The Climb to Conquer Cancer raises roughly eight to ten thousand dollars each year, and as of the last event, had generated approximately $120,000 for the Gibbs Cancer and Research Institute in Spartanburg.

“If people want to donate, they can contact me at (864) 316-2815, or they can drop the donations at Nature’s Storehouse, because we’re taking donations there,” said Cash.

The 14th annual Climb to Conquer Cancer will begin at 8 a.m., departing from Caro-Mi Dining Room in Tryon. Cash would like to thank Buck’s Pizza in Tryon for supplying pizza for the event, Caro-Mi Dining Room for offering the use of their venue and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.