At the age of 74 years, Peter Scholefield regularly cycled 28 kilometres to and from his home in West Vancouver to receive radiation treatment.

74 year-old cancer patient cycled in for treatment

In the summer of 2015, at the age of 74 years, Peter Scholefield was diagnosed with prostate cancer. During September and October, when he needed to get to the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver for radiation treatments, he cycled 28 km to and from Ambleside in West Vancouver. He did that every work day for 36 days and says that the exercise from cycling felt great and relieved stress.

“I was in great shape from cycling one and a half hours every day. I tried to get there as fast as I could and, on the way home, explored many different routes at a more relaxed pace. Definitely, cycling was the best part of my day. “The routes I rode to and from the the VGH Campus were 90% protected from traffic, or had very light traffic. The bike network in Vancouver is excellent and allows people to choose cycling as a realistic transportation mode. We are moving toward this on the North Shore as well.”

Few of us who bike to work would have to pay attention to this, but Scholefield’s treatments required him to arrive with a full bladder, so he would stop twice along the way to drink half a water bottle.

Peter Scholefield’s life

Scholefield grew up in Ambleside and, following a career as a meteorologist, returned there in 2000. He has always had a bike and during his working life, cycled to work as often as possible. These days, he uses his bike as his primary mode of transportation, riding to meetings, to go shopping, visit with family, and to play tennis.

His advice for new cyclists

His advice to those who want to start cycling to work is to choose routes with little or no traffic and keep to the bike routes as much as possible. Luckily, the site for his treatment was at the junction of Heather Street and 10th Avenue – two streets that are Vancouver’s most cycled bikeways.

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