Son honors father with bicycle ride for prostate cancer

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Shaune Shelby

Westfield resident Shaune Shelby’s love of cycling began when he received his first 10-speed Schwinn bike as a child. Now, with two wheels and miles of asphalt, Shelby pays tribute to his father, Lawrence H. “Larry” Shelby, by creating and organizing the annual Bike It ride – the only event of this type that solely benefits the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Lawrence had elevated PSA levels for years. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008 and died two weeks before Christmas of that year.

“After eight biopsies the cancer was detected,” Shelby explained. “He opted for total prostate removal.”

Shelby set out to remember his father by making a difference.

“I hate to run and everybody does a walk of some sort, so I came up with a bicycle ride for prostate cancer,” he said.

In its first year, Bike It had 100 participants in the 5-mile family ride and 20-mile ride. Last year’s Bike It doubled to 200 participants, and Shelby said this year’s attendance will be more than 300 riders.

“The desire is there, people need to know how to join the ride,” he said, adding that riders come from as far away as Terre Haute, Richmond, Fort Wayne and Bloomington. “It’s not all about the money. It’s about the people and raising awareness.”

The third annual event will also expand to provide bicycling enthusiasts with a tougher challenge. In addition to the family ride and 20-mile trip, this year’s Bike It includes a 50-mile trip. Shelby said all three will leave Redman Park in Downtown Westfield the morning of July 4. The groups will then separate at Union Street in different directions, but all will end the race back in downtown – right in time to enjoy Westfield Rocks the Fourth activities.

Shelby said the other problem he’s encountered is people who want to ride but don’t have a bike. To help prevent that from happening this year, the event is offering regular and tandem bicycle rentals. Shelby asks those interested in renting to inform organizers prior to the ride. To sign up, visit www.bikeitpc.org, call 605-4467 or e-mail Bikeit01pc@gmail.com.


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