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Ironton starting point for 5,000-mile bike ride

It’s hard for Jim Moyer to speak about those whose lives have been transformed by cancer. In fact, his voice breaks and it takes him a few seconds to recover when he starts to talk about family and friends who have fought the disease, both winning and losing the battle.

But it is because of those in his life that he is taking on a 5,000-mile motorcycle journey that will test his endurance as it brings in funds for cancer research. It’s a ride he plans to start during this weekend’s Rally on the River.

“I have friends all over the country and at each of my destinations there is someone there who is a survivor of cancer or has lost someone to cancer,” Moyer said recently in a phone interview from his home in Tiffin.

The 18,000-population seat of Seneca County has been home to Moyer for most of his life. However, he has strong ties to Lawrence County; his mother Marguerite Holtz Moyer was from Ironton and he has many cousins here.

“I had three aunts from Ironton who died from cancer and that’s why I am kicking off the ride there,” he said.

Moyer’s day job is as a professional dog trainer, whether it’s working with a family pet or training search and rescue police service dogs.

But one of his ways to unwind is getting on his Yamaha Roadstar and hitting the highways.

“I’ve been riding since 1973,” Moyer said. “I was a wild young man. I’ve always been adventurous and that was one of the next things I did.”

However four years later, he was in a serious motorcycle accident.

“I was laid up for a couple of years and that turned my life around,” he said.

He’s giving himself 25 days to go from Ironton to Evergreen, Colo., returning to Ohio in time to participate Susan F. Komen Race for Cure in Cleveland on Sept. 11.

His goal is to raise $5,000 for cancer research or $1 a mile from sponsors.

“Honestly, the idea came to me in my sleep,” he said. “Once it started, it just snowballed. I realized how many people that cancer affects. My business partner, his wife, had cancer. (The Komen race) will be my finale. I will finish up in Cleveland for that race. So I needed a way to raise funds. I enjoy riding. It’s combining the both of them.”

Moyer says those wanting to support his ride can do so three ways:

Click on his name on http://race.komenneohio.org.

Send a check made out to “Power of One” to Jim Moyer, 200 Charlotte St. Tiffin, OH 44883.

Purchase a “Power of One” T-shirt for $15 by contacting Moyer at snokomomi@aol.com.