The 2017 Texas 4000 team celebrates after completing its first 100-mile training day. There are more to come in preparation for a trek from Central Texas to Alaska in June. Courtesy photo


Sixty-nine students from the University of Texas at Austin will log the first miles of their long bicycle ride to Alaska this weekend.

Want to join them for a relatively easy 25, 50 or 70 miles on Saturday?

The public is invited to join members of the Texas 4000 team as they  roll out from Cedar Park on the Atlas Ride. Registration fee is $70 and is open through 5 p.m. today here.

The Texas 4000 riders will keep riding after everyone else bags it, putting in 70 days on the road as they pedal north.

The Texas 4000 team rides through all weather conditions, rain or shine, in the pursuit of spreading the fight against cancer. Courtesy photo

The group will split into three factions in a few days, with one group riding through the southwest toward California before heading north, another chugging through the Rocky Mountains before crossing into Canada, and a third spinning through the American Midwest before rolling into Canada. The three groups will reunite in Canada, riding together the last 10 days into Anchorage, Alaska.

Along the way, the riders will make stops to present grants to cancer research and treatment centers. They’ll also speak to groups about cancer awareness.

Organizers say the Texas 4000 program is as much about leadership development, physical training, cancer awareness outreach, volunteer opportunities and philanthropic commitment as it is about an endurance bike ride. Students apply to join the team. More than 600 students have finished the ride since it started in 2003; they’ve raised more than $7.2 million.

A Tribute Gala on Aug. 25 at the JW Marriott will celebrate their return. For more information go here.