Laura Hockman (left)

Taking a ride for Byron

Independent Living Vernon is honoured to dedicate the 12th Annual Cycling for Independence to the memory of Byron Chatham, who died recently after a cycling accident.

“He and his family were big supporters of the cycle and Byron was a really enthusiastic participant for the past six years. He won the bike for most pledges collected at least three times. We joked with him that he’d have to open a bike shop. We remember him as a happy young man,” said Lisa Kongsdorf of Independent Living Vernon which offers information, education and services for people with a variety of challenges.

“Byron was such an incredible young man who wanted to give back to the community ever since he was a young teenager. He recognized the importance of what we do and we want to remember him. This will still be a fun event and the sun will be shining.”

Cycling for Independence includes a 20K fun ride to Okanagan Lake and the 50K crank-hammer ride to Lumby. Participants get lunch and a mini-massage after the ride.

“Some of Byron’s family members are cyclists and will be in the ride. We invite any of his family and friends who don’t cycle to come out to the event and share their memories and help and show their support,” said Kongsdorf.

The prize for the most pledges collected, a bicycle from Sun Country Cycle, will include the helmet won by Chatham last year and donated back to the event.

For more information and registration for Cycling for Independence, which starts and ends at The People Place in Vernon, contact 250-545-9292, or


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