The PEAKS to Conga bike ride has always been held to “Kick Cancer to the Curb,” but this year the ride will also honor those who have worked to create awareness for the disease and those impacted by it.
On June 26, bike riders will travel US 14-16-20 East in conga-line style for 66 miles from Cody to Shell for the 10th annual event.
This year’s edition of the non-competitive bicycle ride will honor the late Flo Fuhr, who started the event as a motorcycle conga in 2009 to raise funds for breast cancer awareness in the Big Horn Basin.
Although the ride has become one of self-propelled machinery, organizer Laurie Stoelk said the event’s purpose and the need to recognize Fuhr remain the same. Those who register will have the opportunity to order a 10th anniversary “Go With the Flo” commemorative jersey.
“We’re paying tribute to her regardless,” she said.
Proceeds from PEAKS to Conga will go to support cancer patients in the Big Horn Basin who need monetary assistance with non-medical expenses while they are going through treatment. The event has raised nearly $200,000 over the course of the past 11 years of its existence. Participant Carol Bell would ride in the PEAKS to Conga with her husband David Bell, who passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2015.
Bell, whose brother also had cancer, said even if those who get the disease have health insurance, there are countless costs that arise in connection with cancer treatment that no insurance covers, like gas, groceries and lodging.
Financial assistance she received from her friends was incredibly helpful during her husband’s battle with cancer, who took monthly trips to Baltimore for his treatment.
“It’s an incredible gift,” she said.
Bell has been a regular in the PEAKS to Conga rides since the beginning.
The ride is fully supported and includes aid stations, food, water, bathrooms and mechanical support. Riders just need to bring an extra tube, and staff will even be available to help put it on in case of a flat.
The party is just getting started once riders cross the finish line, marking the start of the “Shellebration.” There will be food trucks and art vendors, free yoga, massage therapy and live music from Nashville honky tonk group Pat Reedy & The Longtime Goners at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s so much fun to have that all-day experience with everyone and then celebrate after with some dancing,” Bell said.
A minimum $10 donation is required to participate in the ride.
The ride will start from Cody Coffee at the former airport terminal at 7 a.m. There will be no support vehicles returning bikers to Cody this year out of COVID-19 concerns.
Roadside tribute signs can also be purchased to honor a loved one who has or is battling cancer. These personalized signs are displayed along the ride route each year.
Cost is $100, contact Rene Huge by June 1 to reserve a sign at (307) 272-3426 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you know someone in the Big Horn Basin who is going through cancer treatment and needs financial assistance with non-medical expenses, they can contact the Big Horn Basin Cancer Center in Cody for an application or ask their cancer care provider.
Visit peakstoconga.org/ to sign up for the ride and for more information.