GALLIPOLIS — On Saturday, June 3, 52 riders mounted up their bicycles and rode throughout Gallia County as a fundraiser for Relay for Life, an event that took place the night before.
“Jon’s Ride for Life” was started by the late Jon Burris nearly 10 years ago as a way to help raise funds for cancer research.
At age 32, Burris was diagnosed with cancer, and fought the disease for 10 years. In his life, Burris was an avid and capable rider. He was a member of the Ohio Valley Bicycle Club, and used that platform to start the Ride for Life in conjunction with Relay for Life.
In the beginning, Ride for Life had multiple routes to take, ranging up to 60+ miles and covering nearly all of Gallia County. Riders come from Charleston, Huntington, Ashland, and many local riders. JT Holland is the coordinator for the event, and has been involved since its inception.
“After Jon passed away, we really wanted to do something in his honor” explained Holland. “This ride is in his honor, and the funds are given to Relay for Life, just like he wanted.”
Burris’ son Brayden has been leading the long distance riders every year since his father passed, as a tribute to John. He also has been coordinating the event.
This year about $1,000 was raised in Burris’ memory, all of which will be donated. The ride both started and finished in the Gallipolis City Park, with three distance options possible: 25 mile, 40 mile, and 62 mile. The 62 mile ride covers areas of Ohio 218, 790, 325, and areas around Tycoon Lake. It provided cyclists over 3500 feet of elevation, and gave riders the opportunity to see Gallia County from a new perspective and give back to the community.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.