Trucker raising money to fight kids’ cancer by cycling

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Updated Jun 24, 2017

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Robert Van HoyRobert Van Hoy

Robert Van Hoy, from Augusta, Georgia, balances cycling and his over the road trucking career as a company driver for Crete Carrier Corporation. He started cycling because he wanted a way to stay in shape that also let him explore some of the areas that trucking took him too.

“It was being in the truck and wanting to get out and see some other things, and obviously we can’t get into everywhere with the truck,” Van Hoy said. “It was just a way to get out and sight see and try and get some exercise.”

Van Hoy started out with a cheap bike but has upgraded as he’s gotten more involved in cycling. He now rides a full carbon fiber road racing bike. He seeks out two lane roads and uses them to get his cycling miles in.

“I’m actually on the road. I like to find two lane roads that go out in the middle of nowhere and hopefully sometimes those roads will lead me to a trail,” Van Hoy said.

For the second year in a row, Van Hoy is participating in the Great Cycle Challenge, a nonprofit cycling challenge each year in June that raises money to fight kids’ cancer. Van Hoy is a survivor of kidney cancer and his stepfather died from a cancerous brain tumor. He said he wanted to do something to help kids with cancer. He says learning more about cancer in kids could lead to understanding other kinds of cancers better, as well.

“I’m sure if we can find that out then I’m sure that would lead to cures for adult cancers as well,” Van Hoy said. “It all goes hand in hand.”

Van Hoy has committed to cycle 300 miles during the month of June as part of the challenge. He has set a fundraising goal of $1,000 through the Great Cycle Challenge site. The challenge launched in 2015 and takes place yearly in June. This is Van Hoy’s second year participating. He tries to get his miles in when he’s on a 34-hour restart or has some downtime. 

“Depending on the terrain or weather conditions, I’m good for anywhere between a 40-mile ride up to my longest at date, which was 83 miles on a single ride. I just get them whenever I can, the best I can,” Van Hoy said.

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He drives a double bunk Freightliner and has attached hooks for the bike to the top bunk.

“I do not keep it on the outside of the truck like a lot of people do,” Van Hoy said.

Van Hoy is focused on getting his miles in and fundraising for his current challenge, but he said he already has plans to participate in next year’s Great Cycle Challenge. Since the challenge is conducted in an open format and tracked through an app, he can always fit it into his schedule.

“They track everything through app on the phone, so the open format was really the center on being able to actually do it and have fun with it,” Van Hoy said.