Bikers take it inside for cancer Cycle for Survival

About 500 riders took turns on stationary bicycles under thumping music, dazzling lights and enthusiastic instructors during Cycle for Survival, an indoor team cycling event that raises money for research into rare cancers, at Fremont Studios in Seattle.

Seattle Times staff photographer

Seemingly miles away from the gray drizzle of a typical Seattle morning, approximately 500 riders took turns on stationary bicycles under thumping music, dazzling lights and enthusiastic instructors inside Fremont Studios Sunday morning.

Cycle for Survival, an annual event by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, came to Seattle for the fourth consecutive year to raise money for rare-cancer research and clinical trials. According to Cycle for Survival, about half of all cancer patients are fighting a rare cancer.

Rare cancers include forms like thyroid, brain, ovarian, pancreatic, and all pediatric cancers, and they don’t get the same level of research funding as more well-known diseases. Since 2007, the series of events has raised over $130 million for research and has expanded to 16 different locations this year.

Tricia Murphy Madden, of Seattle, was riding for her late mother-in-law, Toni Rittmaster, who passed away from a rare form of colon cancer. After Rittmaster’s diagnosis, she was given just weeks to live — but after a 15-hour surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, her life was extended for more than a year.

That year, Tricia Murphy married Rittmaster’s son Shawn Madden. “The surgery is the only reason we had a year with her,” said Murphy Madden. “They pull rabbits out of hats, for lack of better words.”

Equinox, an international fitness and lifestyle company, has been a founding partner in Cycle for Survival, and their nightclub-style lights and music and energetic cycling instructors provided the atmosphere to keep riders pedaling.

Nancy Richards, of Seattle, gave a speech between cycling sets for her mother, Dorothy…

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