Dads ride 400 km for men’s health

Friends get together to bike across BC and Washington State over the weekend

Jason Boyes looks back on his time growing up in Pitt Meadows and is reminded of the strong influence is father played in his life.

As he stands outside his father’s house on 116 B Avenue on a sunny Thursday morning, he remembers running around the street with his  childhood friends, Ian Lusher and Carson Power.

As the three friends started families of their own, life was rolling along as planned. Then Ian’s father Mike passed away. Weeks later, as Christmas approached, Jason’s dad Peter had a stroke.

The sudden turn of events certainly weighed heavily on Boyes. So he put out a call to his friends to see if they would support a bike ride to bring forward the issues of men’s health. He received an overwhelming response from his family and friends.

Now the threesome, along Jason’s brother Jeff Boyes, and friends Skigh Murray, Anton Schamberger, Ian Rilcoff, and James Ford joined forces to promote men’s health and wellness with the Dads 4 Dads ride.

The group rode 400 kilometres throughout B.C. and Washington state “in support of our heroes: our dads,” said Boyes.

He said the goal is to eventually grow this ride to become a charity event. But for now, the aim is to promote their own health and well-being.

“I’m approaching 40, I’m a father myself, and I want to start making sure I take care of my own health,” said Boyes, an avid rider.

Under perfect weather, the group returned home Sunday afternoon to a hero’s welcome from family and friends.

“Our ride was amazing, said Jason. “It was a challenge, both physically and mentally, especially our trip up to the Mount Baker ski area.”

He said what made the sometimes gruelling ride bearable was the laughs and camaraderie shared along the way. Boyes said another highlight included a stop at Mike Lusher’s grave site.

“It was an emotional moment, but also a proud moment for the group,” he recalled. “Then we came home to all our families, and my dad waiting for us.”

He added it was a rewarding journey.

“I can’t wait till next year, for our dads.”