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Published July 11th , 2018
Cycling for a cause
Perez on a ferry near Rio Vista during a ride from Lafayette to Sacramento. Photos provided

Longtime Orinda resident Rick Perez has been cycling since around 1990. "My rides have included numerous centuries, the coast of Oregon and the Ice Field Parkway in Canada from Jasper to Banff, a route I highly recommend to everyone, by bicycle or motorized vehicle, for its beauty and wildlife," said Perez.
Laura's Ride 2016 was his first cross-country ride from Santa Monica, California, to St. Augustine, Florida. "I rode with a bike friend, Nick Bloisa, and our two support vehicle drivers, Alejandra and Sarah. Nick and I were both 70."
The 2016 ride raised more than $20,000 in honor of Laura, Bloisa's good friend who had died of breast cancer at 45 in September 2015. "The money was donated to the Lazarex Cancer Foundation - a charitable foundation for which 100 percent of the donations go to those afflicted with cancer due to the generosity of its founders," Perez said. "That ride was probably most notable for its endless roads through nowhere and riding temperatures of 114 degrees."
In 2017, Perez rode Laura's Ride North from Astoria, Oregon - "Actually from Sunset Beach, which is west of Astoria because I wanted to start on the Pacific," he said - to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where the 71-year-old dipped his wheels in the Atlantic and popped a bottle of champagne.
"I chose that route, which (included) a couple of days in Canada, so I could climb the mountains that had been avoided in 2016. I rode by myself with Alejandra again helping as the driver and general assistant. It was also a fundraiser for breast cancer victims through Lazarex Cancer Foundation," Perez said.
Laura's Ride Atlantic Coast, or "Twice Across +," will be from Quebec City, Canada to Key West, Florida. Perez will again be riding by himself with Alejandra as the primary driver. To further assure that all of the donations go to the intended beneficiaries, Perez is funding the cost of the ride itself. So far, the rides have raised more than $28,000.
Perez prepared for this most recent ride with his normal three days a week rides of 25 to 60 miles each with riding buddies from the Lamorinda area as well as their annual ride from Lafayette to Sacramento. "I also rode from Moraga to Half Moon Bay with Dave of our riding group as the first day of his ride to Los Angeles," Perez said.
Perez flew to Quebec City June 28 to meet Alejandra, the truck and his bike and started riding July 2. To follow Perez on his ride or to make a contribution online, visit www.laurasride.org.

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