Tour de Rock riders embark on 1,100 kilometre journey across Vancouver Island

Tour de Rock riders embark on 1,100 kilometre journey across Vancouver Island

WATCH: Nerves and excitement were high in Victoria this morning as dozens of riders hit the road for the annual Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock. Ceilidh Millar reports. 

Dozens of family, friends and fans came together Saturday morning to send-off a group of cyclists who are about to embark on the ride of a lifetime.

“We start in Port Alice and we ride all the way down through 27 communities,” said Jan Buehler with the Canadian Cancer Society.

22 cyclists, made up of police officers, first responders and members of the media, will make the 1,000-kilometre Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock trek from Port Alice to Victoria.

Each kilometre cycled during the two-week journey will help support children battling cancer.

All the money raised from the event is donated to cancer research and programs like Camp Goodtimes.

“My husband was a pediatric cancer survivor,” said one supporter. “It’s a huge healing event to be able to be part of this and to know we’re going to be sending more kids to camp.”

This year marks the 21st year of the event that started on the Island.

Last year, more than $1.3-million was raised during the event.

The team has been training three times a week for the past eight months.

Every rider has a reason for taking part.

“I got involved back in 1997 because my mother, at the time, had been diagnosed with breast cancer at age 56,” said rider Derek Tolmie.

“Our son was diagnosed when he was a 5-year-old,” said former rider Mena Westhaver. “Even before that time we always felt so strongly to be a part of our community and a part of something bigger that can make a difference.”

The team will finish their ride in Victoria on October 5.

For a full schedule, visit the Tour de Rock website. 

Ceilidh MillarCeilidh Millar

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