Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Loyd Truly, at right, and his family are traveling across the country not for donations, but for prayers for people suffering from cancer. Loyd, his son James, wife Denise and daughters Erin and Scarlet hope to be back in Canada this time next year having traveled through 18 states and two Canadian provinces.
Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Loyd Truly, at right, and his family are traveling across the country not for donations, but for prayers for people suffering from cancer. Loyd, his son James, wife Denise and daughters Erin and Scarlet hope to be back in Canada this time next year having traveled through 18 states and two Canadian provinces.

Prayer propels family traveling across countries

Published 12:05am Saturday, October 26, 2013

NATCHEZ — Loyd Truly passed out cards Friday across the Miss-Lou, asking strangers for help — a simple prayer request.

From the seat of his unique bicycle, Loyd passes out cards containing a different name each day. Each name is a person diagnosed with cancer. On Friday, the cards contained the name of James Truly Jr.

Loyd said he wants to create a groundswell of prayer to help those suffering from cancer.

The Petitcodiac, Canada, resident stayed at a Natchez hotel with his wife and three children Thursday before setting out for Texas Friday.

He and his family are riding three-wheeled recumbent cycles, hauling tents, food and clothes to camp along the way. Recumbent bicycles sit low to the ground and allow the rider to recline as they pedal.

The family’s trip is what Loyd characterizes as a “prayer ride.” It’s not a fundraiser, he said.

Daily updates are being cataloged on their “Cancer Ride” Facebook page, with additional details at cancerride.com.

“Ninety-nine percent of people are good people,” Loyd said. “The best part of the trip is meeting people. Of all the people we have met, only two or three have not accepted a card. So many people have chased us down just to offer water. Plenty of people have given us food and offered for us to come to their home.”

Loyd, a retiree, began the trek in May with wife Denise, 13-year-old daughter Erin, 12-year-old son James and 3-year-old daughter Scarlet.

They plan to travel for more than a year, crossing two countries, 18 states and two Canadian provinces, totaling more than 5,000 miles.

Loyd said the family is heading to Texas before reversing course for Florida and then heading north to Canada, along the East Coast of the United States. A string of cancer diagnoses, Loyd said, to close friends and family members inspired his prayer journey.

“I had a close friend in Florida who got cancer,” he said. “My first thought was I was going to walk to see him. When I started to look into it, the first thing I saw on the Internet was a bike ride. I knew I could go a lot faster by bike.”