There are many cyclists in our community, and on Saturday, many took part in the eighth annual Tour Des Chutes, a multi-distance event and fund-raiser for cancer survivor programs. But founder Gary Bonnacker could not attend, as he was in the hospital.
The event began and ended at High Lakes Elementary School in Bend. Cyclists could either ride 7, 25, 48, 72 or 100-mile options.
Money is raised through sponsorships and registrations. Last year, the event donated $90,000 and this year, organizers aere expecting a little bit more, as ridership rose to 1,400.
"There's nothing like the community that happens around some events," said Leslie Cogswell, Tour Des Chutes event director. "This is an amazing community. It's a reunion of families, of friends who have been through cancer, through their families or with Gary personally, and it creates a community and its really fun."
The community event was founded by Bonnacker and friends nine years ago, after Bonnacker had been diagnosed and finished his original treatment for brain cancer.
But Bonnacker went on an errand on his bike to downtown Bend on Thursday and had a seizure.
He was on everyone's minds during Saturday's event.
"Oh, Gary Bonnacker, you're a superstar," Cogswell said. "I just love you, and I love what you do for our community and your friends."
Bonnacker is in the hospital and being treated. He's in stable condition.
Cogswell encourages people if they would like to share this event or other things with Bonnacker, they can do so on the Tour Des Chutes Cancer Bike Ride Facebook page.