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RANGELY | For the third year in a row Rangely Mayor Joe Nielsen will be taking on the Huntsman 140 Bike Race to raise funds for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. Nielsen hopes to raise $500 for a cause that is very personal to him and his family.
“The first year I rode for my sister Karen, last year I rode for my brother-in-law Thad and this year I will be riding for my niece Jamie, all of whom have passed away from cancer,” he said.
The last two years Nielsen rode the 140-mile race, however this year he has chosen a shorter route. “Because of a change in my personal life I have not been able to train as long and as hard as I have in years past so I have opted for the 30-mile length for this year’s ride.”
To prepare Nielsen has been putting plenty of miles in on his bike. “In past years I trained by riding from 20 to 30 miles a day with a longer rides of 50 plus miles on Friday or Saturday. This year I try to put in from 12 to 20 miles a day to be able to have a semi-respectable finish.”
According to Nielsen the ride began as a family event by a cancer survivor who rode 600 miles from Reno, Nev., to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, in six days. After several years the Huntsman picked up the event and began using it as a fundraiser. The primary ride is now from Delta, Utah, to the Huntsman Institute on Saturday, however, several brave souls begin the Monday before in Reno and retrace the original route. Nielsen hopes to one day be one of those brave souls.
“It is on my bucket list to one year start with the Reno riders and go the 600 miles from there to Salt Lake City. With my current busy schedule that will have to wait for a couple of years but I am really looking forward to that day,” he said.
The ride is paid for by rider entrance fees and corporate sponsors so 100 percent of the donations go directly to cancer research. Those who wish to contribute to the cause can find Nielsen’s donation page by going to huntsman140.org. Clicking the Donate to a Rider button will allow you to search the name Joseph Nielsen.
“It is very humbling to see all the cancer survivors at the start line in Delta, Utah. It helps me to realize that whatever my problems may be they pale in comparison to what these brave folks have done in their fight with this dreadful disease,” he said.