Danny Kid takes on the Ride to Conquer Cancer in memory of a loved one.

While most children played hockey or soccer, Danny Kid remembers growing up and spending his free time biking.

At 28, Kid still spends much of his time on a bike.

He can be seen amidst the traffic on Calgary’s streets pedaling his way to work at Virgin Radio.

He doesn’t own a car and enjoys braving the Calgary weather in any season on his bike to get to where he needs to go.

 “I just love to bike,” Kid says as he sits surrounded by bicycles at his favourite bike shop, The CyclePath. “It’s a challenge  mentally, physically  and you wouldn’t believe how much money it saves me.”

Over the past year Kid has shifted from mountain biking to road cycling, Danny Kid has taken his passion and turned it into a way to help others by participating in rides that help raise funds to battle cancer.

Photo by Roxanne Blackwellwhich he compares to “going from a pick up truck to a racecar.”

The opportunity was first presented to him though his job as a radio host. The radio station was going to create a team to participate in a charity ride with Lance Armstrong and he was asked to be a part of it.

Kid says that riding with one of his idols was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“I rode beside him for about 10 minutes. I remember thinking what on earth am I going to talk to him about? So I asked what he had for breakfast. He said eggs, and I was like, ‘me too!’”

That ride hooked Kid into the world of competitive road cycling.

“I became addicted after that, I bought a road bike, I bought accessories, I went full on. It’s all encompassing,” Kid says.

Kid’s next big challenge is the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer.

The two-day 250-kilometer ride through the Rocky Mountains takes place in June 2013. Kid has already been fundraising for months. He has achieved over 70 per cent of his goal of $3,200 on his participant page.

One of the things that Kid likes about this ride is that the participants are allowed to choose what kind of cancer patients their funds go to support. For Kid, that important choice was brain cancer.

In June 2012, Kid and his girlfriend Lizz Sande found out that her cousin, Taite Boomer, had been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Boomer was 20 years old, and within a few short months he went from being an active hockey player to being unable to move an entire side of his body. On Sept. 2, 2012, he passed away from the tumour.

Produced by Roxanne Blackwell

“It was painful,” Kid says. “Everybody just felt completely and utterly helpless. I said, ‘Well hey, I can race my bike, I can pedal my bike, I can do this.’”

Sande says that the ride has given her family something to rally around and support in a time where all they felt was confusion and helplessness.

“Danny doing the Ride to Conquer Cancer in my cousin Taite’s name is a truly touching and inspirational gesture,” says Sande.

“He is a do-er. He’s not patient and he hates to feel useless or helpless. Danny riding his bike makes him feel like he is doing something to help. For us as a family, it gives us something to support while we set up the foundation (in Taite’s name) and all the fundraising that goes into the ride will hopefully create the advances needed to save lives.”

Kid says that the memory of Taite keeps him driven.

“The motivation to get me through that day will be Taite. He and I weren’t close, but he’s a family member,” he said.

“Knowing that I have all of these people behind me is going to be huge Kid is doing the ride in memory of Taite Boomer (pictured here with his girlfriend Katelynn Pretzlaff on Halloween in 2011). Taite passed away in September, 2012 from a brain tumour.

Photo courtesy of Lizz Sandemotivation. Taite didn’t have a choice, I have the choice to push the pedal, so I will.”

Taite’s mother, Lori Boomer, says that she is “touched” by Kid’s enthusiasm to do the ride in memory of Taite.

“Even though he is new to our family he has truly embraced us all,” she says of Kid. “There is nothing that anyone can do to bring Taite back, but having so much support for our family and for our fledgling foundation helps us to move forward.”

Kid says that he plans to complete more charity rides in the future.

“I’m in no way a professional, not even close,” he says.

“But hey, I can positively affect mine and others’ lives through having some fun, so why not?”

rblackwell@cjournal.ca