Registration for the 15th annual Ride For Doug fundraiser from Langley to Abbotsford is running “above average,” Doug’s dad, Cam Penner, reported Monday, May 31.
So far, 30 riders have signed up for the annual event, set for Sunday, June 6.
“It’s usually crickets until the last week,” Cam told the Langley Advance Times.
“It depends of the five-day forecast,” Cam explained – whether the long range outlook looks good for a motorcycle outing.
In addition to raising money to fight muscular dystrophy, some of the funds from this year’s event will help purchase a converted Chevy Traverse SUV to transport Doug in his power wheelchair.
Aside from the fact that it looks “cool,” Cam said the vehicle, described by builder BraunAbility as the largest wheelchair SUV ever made, has several features that make it a good choice, including a removable passenger seat that will let Doug ride shotgun up front, and a roomy interior that accommodate a second person in a power wheelchair.
They have $15,000 remaining to raise toward the cost of the conversion.
Doug, a car aficionado, is already making plans to personalize it with some custom touches, like upgraded wheels, Cam said.
Last year, the ride proceeded under COVID-19 protocols that, among other things, required riders who were not close family to keep a minimum six feet from other participants.
Instead of all the participants gathering at once in one location to begin the ride, they were divided into different groups in four well-separated locations in the spacious parking lot of the Colossus Cineplex movie theatre complex in Walnut Grove.
For the 2021 edition, the same precautions will apply, with riders gathering Sunday, June 6 at the same site.
They will travel the back roads of Maple Ridge and Mission, ending up in Abbotsford at the University of the Fraser Valley/Abbotsford Centre parking lot.
As before, there will be no post-ride barbecue and no rest stops along the way.
More details, including how to register and donate online, can be found at the Ride For Doug home page at www.ridefordoug.com.
READ MORE: VIDEO: Langley dad describes the pressures of coping with MD at Ride For Doug
Doug has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), an inherited disorder that affects one in 5,000 males at birth. It very rarely affects girls.
Muscles become weaker as the patient gets older, and there is no known cure.
Donors to the Ride For Doug have so far contributed $250,000 for Muscular Dystrophy Canada to support research and equipment for patients, plus $40,000 for special projects for Doug.
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