The team’s riding colours and side-by-side formation are a familiar sight every fall on Vancouver Island roads.
Thirteen days of cycling from Port Alice to Victoria, with a weekend side trip to Ucluelet and Tofino is all a part of the tradition of the Tour de Rock ride.
“We’re really coming together like any other team,” said team rider and Ucluelet Fire Chief Rick Geddes. “We’ve been on the road now a week and relationships are forming and we’re coming together.”
Geddes was supposed to be on the 2020 team but it was cancelled because of COVID.
“It’s been a long time coming for me and four of the others who were hoping to do this in 2020 so it made it that much more special,” he added.
Also peddling hard to the coast Saturday was Rachelle Cole, a B.C. Ambulance paramedic in Ucluelet.
“It really hits home how important the whole program is to help kids live happier, healthier, longer and the impact that it has for the families and their experience they have,” Cole told CHEK News.
The annual Cops for Cancer bike ride raises funds in support of life-saving pediatric cancer research and support programs for children and their families.
Perhaps for the first time, a rider is battling cancer while on the tour.
Lindsay Nicholson is a Saanich Police officer and was diagnosed with breast cancer just mere weeks ago.
She underwent chemotherapy on Thursday and her riding is now limited, but she is supporting the team and the kids.
“It gives me a whole new appreciation for Tour and the kids and what they go through and just that rollercoaster ride that families go through,” said Nicholson.
The team is raising a lot of money, but one of the top fundraisers is Bonnie Logan a fire dispatcher in Campbell River.
She has raised over $50,000 so far and had her head shaved earlier in the ride.
“You know everyone honking and waving and the donations coming in, it’s just phenomenal,” Logan said. “And to see the junior riders along the way and hear people’s own personal cancer journeys, you just heard Lindsay’s personal cancer journey, you know it’s never too far from the mind.”
The Tour makes a U-turn Sunday and will head south to Victoria next week ending the ride on Friday.