A notable figure in the cycling community of Central Oregon passed away, leaving behind a legacy of passion for bikes and advocacy against cancer. His life was defined by perseverance, creativity, and an unwavering commitment to creating change.
In 2003, he was informed of a life-altering event: being diagnosed with a brain tumor. Rather than giving into feelings of hopelessness, he chose to be proactive. He came up with the “Tour des Chutes,” a cycling event that not only generated funds for cancer treatment but also became an integral part of Central Oregon’s cycling culture.
Gary Bonacker’s Impact on Cycling
Gary Bonacker passed away after a lengthy and challenging battle with cancer.
In a span of 17 years, the “Tour des Chutes” became a prominent fundraiser in the area, raising more than $1.25 million to aid cancer treatment. This success was a testament to Bonacker’s foresight and the strong backing he received from the community.
Additionally, a non-profit organization in Ohio is taking action to improve the safety and visibility of cyclists on roads.
Furthermore, a non-governmental organization in the state of Ohio is implementing measures to enhance the security and visibility of bicyclists on roadways.
Gary Bonacker not only raised funds for cancer, but also played a significant role in developing the cycling community in Central Oregon. He helped establish Sunnyside Sports in Bend and dedicated 40 years of his life to the business, starting as an employee in 1972 and eventually becoming a part-owner in 1990. Sunnyside Sports and Bonacker were integral to the thriving cycling culture in Bend.
Bonacker had a strong love for cycling that went beyond just working at the shop. He actively participated in bike racing from 1969 to 1986 and was a key figure in establishing the Cascade Cycling Classic, which remains the longest-running stage race in the US.
Gary and his background
He continued to make significant contributions to the cycling community, including leading the first Sunnyside Century event in Bend.
However, Gary Bonacker did not conform to mainstream interests. He had a preference for unconventional sports and hobbies, such as converting cruisers into mountain bikes, exploring Mt. Bachelor’s slopes before it became popular for mountain biking, and being an early advocate for disc golf and local whitewater kayaking. His diverse interests also included playing badminton, the B3 organ, and a strong passion for jazz music.
Reworded: Despite the impact of a brain tumor on his ability to remember and use words, Bonacker persisted in navigating through life on his bicycle. His bike remained a loyal companion, taking him to various places such as the store, the market, and the Old Mill District. As he put it, he would only stop riding if his handlebars were removed. Despite the difficulties caused by the tumor, he embraced the open road and opted for quieter routes to fully enjoy the freedom that two wheels provided him.
Gary Bonacker’s narrative is truly uplifting. It highlights his persistence and unwavering dedication to his community and the battle against cancer. His impact is one of optimism, perseverance, and the unyielding strength of the human soul. It extends far beyond the trails and roads of Central Oregon.
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Unfortunately, the world of cycling has lost a great legend after an arduous fight against a brain tumor. This news was reported by EssentiallySports.