Bucks County woman riding bike coast-to-coast for cancer

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Bucks County woman is headed west to do her part in a cross-country bike ride for cancer research.

Alka Bhatt of Newtown is one of 109 riders from Bristol-Myers Squibb in the Coast 2 Coast 4 Cancer, which starts September 4 in Oregon and ends on the beach in Long Branch, New Jersey on September 24th.

Bhatt will ride about 300 hilly, high-elevation miles from Boise, Idaho to Salt Lake City, Utah on September 7-9.

She's doing it in memory of an aunt who died of head and neck cancer last year in India.

"For us & my family, having to watch from afar was really difficult. So I think watching her journey has really motivated me to put in the time for the ride and to be able to put in the 4 months of training to be able to complete it," she says.

Bhatt remembers long visits with her aunt during her childhood.

The former marathon runner admits training for a long-distance bike ride is different.

"With a marathon, you hit a wall gradually, but on a bicycle, you feel great until suddenly you don't," she notes.

And Bhatt says she hadn't been on a bicycle in 15 years till she was invited to ride.

Bristol-Myers Squibb will match money raised by the riders, up to $500,000.

Altogether, they want to raise 1 million dollars for the V Foundation.
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