Since its inception in 2009, Wheel 2 Heal has always been a family affair for Rodney Lee. The first year, Rodney and his young sons, Tyler (then 5) and Ethan (4), all rode the Coquitlam River Trail 10 kilometre (km) course. It was gnarly for the training wheels but they all made it and decided to come back for another year.
The following year, Rodney committed to ride the longest distance – the 80 km road course – as part of his training for the Ride to Conquer Cancer and Whistler Gran Fondo. However, riding with his young sons was still an equally important commitment. Rodney started off with the pack for the 80 km road ride, returned a few hours later to ride the 10 km Lafarge Lake loop with all three of his sons as his youngest, Aiden, had joined in the fun. After riding with his kids, Rodney then returned to the road course to finish the rest of the 80 km. Talk about a dedicated father and cyclist! All the while dedicated mum, Melanie, cheered and provided support.
“We like participating in Wheel 2 Heal because it It brings together our families and community for a great cause,” says Rodney. “I’ve been able to see my kids grow up with the event.”
In 2014, Rodney and Tyler challenged themselves by riding the 40 km route together. It was a struggle but father and son managed to complete it. And now there’s no looking back! The Lees enjoy the time spent together, dusting off their bikes in the Spring, going for training rides and fundraising for the hospital. Rodney’s training tip is to find some different routes you enjoy based on your available time and conditioning and get out there as much as possible.
The Lees have recruited other family members and friends to take up the cause. Together they go for rides, experience the community and support their local hospital. Even Rodney’s parents, Cecil and Julie, who moved to Coquitlam 38 years ago, get involved by volunteering and cheering on their grandsons.
Eagle Ridge Hospital is where Rodney and his family have received care and treatment in the past. He feels it’s important to continue to have the local hospital to serve the community.
“Events like W2H, not only raise money for a good cause, they help us show our kids that we can all help out and make a difference. It means we take care of one another. We help others that need an extra hand.”
This year, Rodney and his sons, hope to participate in the 40 km trail ride with a big group of their friends. To donate to Rodney, visit his fundraising page.
To join Rodney, Tyler, Ethan and Aiden’s commitment to ride and raise money for Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation, register for Wheel 2 Heal today.