Biking for breast cancer awareness

Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown

October is here; and it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so grab your helmet and pedal down to Main Street for the third annual ride to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.

On Oct. 11 at 10 a.m., bikers will hit the highways in a breast cancer awareness ride put on by Sioux River Bicycles and Fitness, along with Trek Bicycles. There will be two different routes, one 9.5-mile and one 25-mile ride.

“As far as the amount of people that ride the 9-mile and 25-mile, it’s usually about half and half,” said Sherry Oswald, the event coordinator.

A number of other local businesses, including the Powershop Gym, HyVee and Tailwinds Coffee, also helped sponsor the ride. Tailwinds Coffee will give out coupons at the event.

Registration is available at the Sioux River Bicycles and Fitness shop or online at their Web site The entry fee is $25 for one person or $50 for a family and $30 for registration on the day of the race.

“Some people come together as teams and ride together to support someone they know with breast cancer,” Oswald said. “We also have quite a few survivors ride.”

The ride was pitched to 2,000 Trek Bicycle stores last year, but only 43 shops did it, said Rob Rasmussen, the owner of Sioux River Bicycles and Fitness. The Brookings shop raised more money than any of the other participating stores with its 94 riders.

“One hundred stores signed up this year, so we hope to take first place again,” said Rasmussen. “It’s always nice to raise as much as we can.”

“We hope to have at least 100 people sign up this year if there is good weather,” said Oswald. “If 100 people sign up, then we should make at least $2,500. It’ll be great.”

This year’s honorary chairperson is SDSU’s First Lady Marcia Chicoine who will be emceeing during the event. SDSU President David Chicoine will be participating in the 25-mile bike ride.

Outside the bike shop at 9:30 a.m., prior to the 10 a.m. ride time, there will be a health and awareness program, said Oswald. A breast surgeon from Sioux Falls will be at the program to discuss breast health and breast cancer treatment. The South Dakota Susan G. Komen chairperson will also be at the program to speak about support for those with cancer.

Marcia Chandler, the faculty adviser for the women’s sorority of engineering, Alpha Omega Epsilon, is a three-year cancer survivor who wanted to make a contribution this year. Chandler and the women of her sorority put together a quilt that will be raffled off at the event.

Raffle tickets will be sold for $1 per ticket or 12 tickets for $10. They can be bought from members of the sorority at the breast cancer ride, the Brookings Farmers’ Market, Tailwinds Coffee on Main Street and at The Union. All of the money made from the raffle tickets will go to the SDSU Community Wellness Center for those students who may be affected by the disease.

T-shirts will also be sold at the event by a number of different organizations. Some of these include the American Cancer Society, Avera Health Care, Sanford Health Care and Brookings Health Care. Last year, $1,000 was made from selling pink breast cancer awareness rodeo shirts.

“I think it’s a really great event for everyone to participate in,” said Oswald.