Lansing man has cycled more than 73,000 miles since being cancer-free

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – A man who battled cancer is now taking his message on the road. The Lansing man has cycled more than 73,000 miles, or about three times around the world.

Gar Watson is a cancer survivor and cyclist. He started cycling because of his cancer treatments.

“I had actually been a couch potato for about five years before I got this cancer, so it ended up being a red flag and I started rolling towards my treatments,” Watson said.

He cycled from his home to his treatments in Lansing, a 14-mile round trip.

“My wild ride started during my radiation treatments, which lasted three weeks.”

Watson was being treated for stage four non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“I was tired,” Watson said. “I had weekly blood draws through it all, but after all the other doctor’s appointments, I was tired of the back and forth.”

The cancer was almost gone by the time of his radiation therapy.

“I was very lucky, very lucky, for the battle that I know a lot of people go through with cancer, I got through it easily.”

But, he needed to do something to keep himself busy, so he started cycling at 49.

“Cycling was an instinctive reaction to cancer,” Watson said. “When I started I was just hiking the river trail on my own.”

Watson would continue to clock 1,000 miles each month for the remainder of 2014, and a total of around 7,000 miles that year.

“I logged all of these things for every ride I did, so that’s the way it is, that’s why I know for the first four years I averaged 1,000 miles a month.”

Eight years after being declared cancer-free and 73,000 miles later, Gar Watson is still hitting milestones.

“So I’ve since 2014, since May or June since every time I started riding, just over 73,000 miles.”

Watson said he hadn’t had a primary care doctor for a few years before noticing the back pain, which ended up being a tumor. He still sees a doctor regularly to make sure he is cancer free.

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