John Wakefield cycled 1,625 kilometres and raised more than $2,500 in his fifth year of the Great Cycle Challenge Canada in August 2020 after being struck by a vehicle on Kalamalka Lake Road three months earlier. (Contributed)

Vernon cyclist struck by vehicle rides 1,625 km in challenge

Avid cyclist raises over $2,500 in August’s Great Cycle Challenge Canada after being hit by a vehicle in May

A Vernon cyclist wouldn’t let getting hit by a vehicle stop him from completing the 2020 Great Cycle Challenge Canada and raising more than $2,500 to fight childhood cancers.

John Wakefield was struck by a vehicle May 9, 2020, near Toro’s Liquor Store while riding along Kalamalka Lake Road.

Wakefield was treated by first responders before he was loaded onto a gurney and into an ambulance.

He suffered from a broken collarbone and a concussion.

“The broken bone wasn’t fun but the concussion,” he said. “For two weeks, I had vertigo. That was terrible. Every time I moved my head even, everything would spin.”

But, Wakefield, who turned 70 this year, said he was back on his bicycle after six or seven weeks.

“Usually the cycling challenge is in June and since I was hit in May, I thought I was going to miss it,” Wakefield said Monday, Sept. 28.

The challenge was moved to August in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the fifth year Wakefield tackled the month-long ride.

The countrywide fundraiser saw 52,205 riders raise more than $9.4 million in August — Wakefield ranked No. 646 in Canada after riding 1,625 kilometres and raising $2,536.

In total, Wakefield said he’s raised more than $7,900 in the five years he’s participated in the challenge.

“This year wasn’t as easy as it normally would be,” Wakefield said. “I am still having a fair amount of pain in my left shoulder, but I’m still riding and I still enjoy it.”

Wakefield has been riding a bicycle for a long time and has always taken precautions, but since he was hit by a vehicle he said he’s extra careful when approaching intersections or coming around a corner. He also relies on his bicycle mirror to see objects approaching from behind.

“Every time a car moves, I get a bit nervous,” he said. “But I try to get out on quieter roads. Then again, I got hit on a bike path, didn’t I. That’s not always the best spot.”

Wakefield is still accepting donations at the greatcyclechallenge.ca.

READ MORE: Cyclist struck by vehicle in Vernon

READ MORE: Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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