Corey Timmerman is not a cyclist, but she’s preparing to ride a bike from Austin to Anchorage to help raise money for cancer research.
Timmerman, of Westlake, is training for the "daunting" Texas 4000, a 10-week ride of more than 4,000 miles. As a senior at the University of Texas, she and 87 other students have begun training for the May trip, and there’s a "wide range of skill levels" among them.
"Some are really into biking, but some have never done a long ride in their lives," Timmerman said.
Timmerman’s group will bike through the Rockies, averaging about 70 miles a day during the annual trip, which began in 2004.
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"It does scare me a bit," she said. "But the fact that previous riders have done it so many times ... it makes me less worried."
Timmerman, a biology major who is applying to medical schools and wants to go into medicine, said physical training is only one aspect in the preparation process. The students are also volunteering, raising funds and awareness and gaining experience in leadership roles and with nonprofits. Many of those who ride do it for family and loved ones who have fought cancer.
"I ride for my grandfather, who passed away from lung cancer 21 years ago," Timmerman wrote on the Texas 4000 website, www.Texas4000.org. "I never got to meet him, he died two months before I was born.
"I also ride for my dad who is fighting cancer not in himself, but in others."
Corey Timmerman said her father, Robert Timmerman, a radiation oncologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, is an inspiration for her.
"His patients are really grateful that he can help them," she said. "A lot of the people he sees are already very, very sick. I think it takes a strong person to be able to do that.
"So I ride to give him my support, and his patients too, with the hope that one day we will find a cure."
According to Timmerman’s rider page on the organization’s website, she’s raised a bit more than half of the $4,500 she needs to as part of the program. As she continues to prepare for the cross-country trek – which embarks just after graduation -- you can donate straight to her or any other rider from the website.