Photo by Mary Alice Maloney
Palos Heights’ Mike Boyle will be hitting the road in September to ride his bicycle for cancer research.
Mike Boyle will soon be trading the Lake Katherine bike trail for a route across the country in an effort to fundraise for cancer awareness and research.
Boyle, a Hickory Hills native and Palos Heights resident, is an employee of Bristol-Meyers Squibb and is participating in the company’s Coast2Coast4Cancer fundraising bicycle ride across the United States. The ride will begin on Sept. 7 at the Pacific Ocean in Oregon and conclude on Sept. 27 at the Atlantic Ocean in New Jersey. All proceeds from the event will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Bristol-Meyers Squibb and will be donated to the Stand Up To Cancer organization, which aims to raise funds for translational cancer research that can help get new therapies to patients quickly and efficiently.
This year’s ride is the third Coast2Coast4Cancer event, but not only will it will be Boyle’s first time participating, it will be his first time ever cycling such an intense course.
“I participated in some small bicycle races when I was in college at Indiana University, but I’ve never done anything like this before,” Boyle said of his experience with cycling.
The ride is split up into six regions, and each Squibb sales team members will ride their bikes for four days straight through one of those regions. Boyle will be cycling with 12 other riders from Denver, Colorado to Kansas City, Missouri for four days starting Sept. 16.
Boyle will be riding 65 miles a day, covering half of his team’s distance.
Boyle said he is up to the challenge. He’s been training for the last six months with the first alternate for the US Women’s Olympic Cycling team, Beth Hernandez, who will be riding in Rio later this summer.
“Every time I do a ride, I send her my notes and she’ll take a look at my speed, my time, and my progress and we work together to improve my skills,” Boyle said.
Boyle has been riding on the Lake Katherine trail and recently completed his first 60-mile ride.
Ahead of his big ride, local restaurants will be holding fundraising events to support the cause. Mama Vesuvio’s at 6361 W. College Drive in Palos Heights will be donating 20 percent of all sales after 5 p.m. on Thursday, tonight. Robert’s Roadhouse at 9090 S. Roberts Rd. in Hickory Hills will also be donating 20 percent of its sales after 5 p.m. on Aug. 12.
To learn more about Coast2Coast4Cancer and to donate directly to Stand Up To
Cancer, visit www.standup2cancer.org/teamraiser/cyclepaths and click on Boyle’s profile.