Roy and Robin Loomis are both aware of the devastating toll cancer takes on a family. And that is why for the past two years, they have rode for the relay. With their bikes set to go for their trip in June, the couple is looking forward to the 118 mile route for 2010.
“Everyone wins in this situation,” Roy said. “We get to improve our health and at the same time, raise money.”
Robin added that it also is a really great way to meet many nice people.
“In years past, we have stopped for a bite to eat on the way down or back up, and we have been provided meals or drinks,” she said. “Instances such as that or a story you might hear from a survivor really makes it worthwhile.”
Last year, the couple raised $1,350 for their local Relay for Life team, and this year, they have raised the bar and the mileage they will put on their bikes.
“We are going to ride to Ashland, Kentucky this year,” Roy said. “And hopefully we can meet our goal of $1,500.”
But the long journey ahead won’t be too hard for either Roy or Robin, who both said they have been preparing for the ride. They both have road mountain and road bikes since 2000.
“This is kind of like our way to relax, even though it can be a little scary going down the highway,” Robin said.
The couple will leave from Jim Hill Road off Crab Creek, travel down Rt. 2 towards Huntington, where they will cross the Proctorville bridge, and continue along Rt. 52 towards Chesapeake, then on to Ashland. There, they will cross the bridge, circle around and make the trip back home. Their ride will start at 6 a.m. on Thursday morning.
Roy added that the reason they cannot travel down Interstate 64 is because of the Division of Highway rules that regulates riders to travel Rt. 52 due to the large amount of traffic on I64.
But the passion that they both have for riding and raising awareness will be witnessed by all who happen to pass by. Robin added that while many believe they (the riders) are sometimes in the way or on the wrong side of the road, she stated that the correct direction to travel is with traffic, not against.
“We sometimes even have to be in lanes of traffic, like on Rt. 52, but we are just following the rules,” she said.
Both Roy and Robin stated that since they have been riding, they both have seen the improvement that exercise can have on one’s health.
With new bikes and big hearts, the couple will set off during the first weekend of June — 4 and 5 — with a rain date scheduled for the following week. They are hoping that those who would like to help them meet their goal, make donations in the jars they will have in area businesses throughout Mason County.
“My company, Felman Productions in New Haven, also is helping donate to our cause this year,” Roy said. “We are very thankful to those who care about this issue as much as we do. It seems as if everyone is somehow affected by cancer.”
All proceeds collected in the donation jars will be given to a team for the Mason County Relay for Life, since this year, their team ‘Soldiers for Life’ with the Pleasant View Church, does not have enough members to participate.
“We are really looking forward to our trip,” Roy said. “And hopefully in the future, we will ride for more than just cancer awareness.”
They both stated that they are planning to participate in more rides with several new organizations next year.
Roy and Robin added that they are hopeful that a cure for cancer will be found sometime in the future.
The Relay for Life will take place at the Point Pleasant High School Athletic Complex on June 12 and 13 with the theme, ‘Celebrating More Birthdays’. For more information about the event or to register, visit www.relayforlife.org/masonwv.