Cyclists alert the state about the dangers of skin cancer with three day, 465 mile route

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cancer, UAB, Deep South Cancer
Deep South Cancer Foundation has partnered with Birmingham Bicycle Club for the three-day Paul Revere Ride, 465 miles North to South through Alabama. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

What are you doing this Labor Day weekend? A group of ultra-cyclists are raising funds and awareness for cancer research by completing a 465 mile ride. They departed from the Tennessee/Alabama border on Thursday, August 31, and arrived in Gulf Shores on Saturday, September 2!

The 2017 Birmingham Bicycle Club Paul Revere Ride is a charity bicycle ride dedicated to focusing public attention on the need for skin cancer prevention, early detection, comprehensive treatment, and ongoing research. Funds raised through this event will support melanoma research being done at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center.  The group is riding specifically in honor of Wayne Spooner, a longtime cyclist, Birmingham Bicycle Club member and melanoma patient.

Cyclists preparing to roll out of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center on day two of the Paul Revere ride. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

Deep South Cancer Foundation Executive Director, Drew Read, explained the event this way,



On behalf of the Deep South Cancer Foundation, we are so pleased to partner with others who want to make a difference.  When the Birmingham Bicycle Club wanted to dedicate their annual event in honor of their friend Wayne Spooner, it could not have been easier for us to help.

So on this epic trip from the top of Alabama to the bottom, we strongly believe that not only helping people is easy, but it’s the little things that make a difference in the lives of others.  Change always starts with one!

UAB, Birmingham, Deep South Cancer
Wayne Spooner, the event’s honoree, and Darrell O’Quinn, Paul Revere Ride participant.

Day one brought special challenges related to the remnants of Hurricane Harvey. As tornadoes touched down in western Alabama, the cyclists battled headwinds and finally had to stop at “only” 100 miles due to lightning.

Day two departed from Birmingham, beginning with a press conference at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. There was another stop in Montgomery where they were welcomed at the capitol, and finally coming to rest in Greenville.

Paul Revere Ride participants in Montgomery, AL. Photo via Darrell O’Quinn

Day three was the most challenging, as the riders battled fatigue and the cumulative effects of long miles on the bike.  The last leg of the journey, from Greenville to Gulf Shores was a staggering 185 miles!  Success came with the Gulf of Mexico coming into view, with the cyclists knowing they had struggled and overcome, as the cancer patients they honor do every day.

Karen Clanton, in the final miles of the north-south Alabama route. Photo via Pete Foret

Pete Foret, endurance cyclist, says of his experience this weekend, “What an amazing experience to be a part of this ride to raise awareness for skin cancer!”

Birmingham, UAB, cancer
Darrell O’Quinn’s Strava report from day three of the Paul Revere Ride. Photo via Darrell O’Quinn

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Kristina O'Quinn
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