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Wheels of hope

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | April 10, 2010 9:00 PM

POST FALLS - The red bandana covering Jim Fulton's head was damp with sweat as he steadily pedaled on a stationary bike Friday afternoon. He had already been in motion for two hours and planned to go at least another hour before taking a break at the Peak Health and Wellness fitness center in Post Falls.

POST FALLS - The red bandana covering Jim Fulton's head was damp with sweat as he steadily pedaled on a stationary bike Friday afternoon.

He had already been in motion for two hours and planned to go at least another hour before taking a break at the Peak Health and Wellness fitness center in Post Falls.

"It's for a great cause and I would do it again and again," the 50-year-old said, adding that he was feeling "extraordinary."

"It's absolutely awesome," Fulton said.

He was one of more than 100 riders on 15 teams taking part in the second LiveStrong 24-hour bike ride to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation, an organization dedicated to raising money, awareness and spirits to help people fight cancer.

Teams ranging from about five to 24 riders began pedaling their bikes at noon Friday and won't stop until noon today in the Peak gym.

While riding, they'll play games, listen to music, watch movies and participate in spinning classes. Some serious riders, like Fulton, will use the time to prepare for Ironman Coeur d'Alene on June 27.

"I've got Ironman in 75 days, so I make it a part of my training program," he said as his legs churned along at 20 mph.

Each team had to raise at least $400, and some had pledges up to $3,000. The overall goal this year was in the $10,000 range, which would top last year's $6,000.

Organizer Mike Larsen lost his father to cancer two years ago.

"Since then, I devoted all my time to helping find a cure one day sooner," the Post Falls man said.

Lisa Smith planned to ride for an hour Friday.

"I've already been at the gym two hours this morning," the Post Falls woman said with a smile.

She said her late husband, Jeff, died of cancer 10 years ago.

"I'm glad to be part of the fight," Smith said.

Fulton is happy to do his part, too. His father, Jim Fulton, died of cancer three years ago at the age of 70.

He said research to cure cancer, along with encouragement for those battling the disease, will motivate him to go eight hours total in the relay.

"As long as we can save somebody doing this, more power to it," Fulton said. "You won't get me off this bike."

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