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Moncton East MLA Chris Collins is planning to bike from Vancouver to Halifax as part of a team raising money for children with cancer. (www.searsnationalkidscancerride.com)

Moncton East MLA Chris Collins flew to Vancouver on Monday as part of a team planning to bike thousands of kilometres back to New Brunswick.

The ride will cover about 7,000 kilometres in 17 days, starting this Thursday.

Collins will be biking back to the East Coast, as part of the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride.

"I'm a member of a peloton — or team — that will do 165 kilometres a day, and I'm on the bike for 165 kilometres," he said. "There's another peloton that does 235 kilometres. So combined we do 400. And then we leapfrog over each other throughout the country." 

Collins lost his 13-year-old son, Sean, to cancer six years ago.

"You never get over the loss of a child, you just get a little better at it everyday — contending with it. You know, I think that this ride will personally take me a little further in that journey as well. It’s going to be quite a cathartic event, very emotional," he said.

Collins said more than 50 New Brunswick children are diagnosed with cancer each year.

To date, this event has raised close to $58,000 for those families.

The ride is expected to finish Sept. 21 in Halifax.