Hundreds of cyclists left Vancouver on Saturday morning on a long journey aimed at raising funds for cancer research.

The inaugural Ride to Conquer Cancer is a two-day, 262-kilometre trek from Vancouver to Seattle.

All funds raised go to the B.C. Cancer Foundation, an independent charity that supports breakthrough cancer research and care at the B.C. Cancer Agency.

Nick Locke, the senior vice-president of the foundation, said he was amazed at how many people signed up to support the cause.

"It's certainly going to be the biggest cycling fundraiser for cancer research in British Columbia. The support from the community has been unbelievable. We have riders from across the province," he said.

Tim Stringer, a life coach and yoga teacher in Vancouver, is one of the cyclists and a cancer survivor.

"I wasn't sure last year around this time if I was going to see Christmas. I was in really rough shape. So to be even be contemplating something like this a year later is a real personal breakthrough."

Disease can be overcome, says survivor

In 2008, Stringer was diagnosed with a germ cell cancer that had spread into his lymphatic system.

He spent months in chemotherapy, underwent major surgery and tried a litany of diets, supplements and holistic healing.

In December, Stringer found out his cancer was in remission.

With a clean bill of health, he's getting on his bike to give back to the organization that helped saved his life.

"I want to get out there and just show how cancer is something that can be overcome. You know, the body has an amazing ability to heal."

The group is scheduled to arrive in Seattle, Wash., Sunday night.