Lansing man biked over 73,000 miles since being cancer free


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

Gar Watson is a cancer survivor and bicyclist. He started biking because of his cancer treatments.

“I actually had been a couch potato for around for five years before I got this cancer, so that ended up being a wake up call and I started riding to my treatments,” said Watson.

He rode his bike from his house to his treatments in Lansing, a 14-mile ride roundtrip.

“My crazy riding 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 all of this, but then all the other doctor’s appointments, I was tired of the roundtrip.”

The cancer was nearly gone at the time of his radiation.

“I’ve been very fortunate, very lucky, for the battle I know a lot of people go through in cancer, I got off easy.”

But, he needed to do something to keep himself busy, so he started biking at 49 years old.

“Cycling was a knee-jerk reaction to cancer,” Watson said. “When I started out, I was just doing trail rides on the river trail by myself.”

Watson would go on to ride 1,000 miles each month for the rest of 2014, and a total of roughly 7,000 miles that year.

“I logged all that stuff for every ride I did, so that’s how, that’s why I know I for the first four years I was averaging 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 have since 2014, since May or June since whenever I started riding, a little over 73,000 miles.”

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

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