Sitting 352 metres above sea level, the Malahat looms over Tour de Rock cyclists as they make their last major climb.

And as the riders hit the Malahat’s highest peak, family members were there to cheer them on.

“Pretty proud of this guy, and proud of this team, because this is one heck of an effort to put in,” said Brian Leah, who was cheering on his son.

The weather has been near perfect with only two days of rain. Now, it’s almost all downhill from here, but the team did face some major bumps in the road.

“It just takes one moment of distraction, and that was what I managed to pull off. It obviously could be a lot worse. Ya! Battle scars!” said Andrew Quinn.

On day 11, Quinn took a major spill. After being hospitalized in Duncan, he was back on his bike, more motivated than ever.

“I’ve had some pain, but it can’t be anything close to what the little guys are going through at the hospital with chemo and everything. My little bit of road rash is nothing compared to some of the chemical burns the kids get when getting their cancer treatments,” said Quinn.

In every community, between Victoria and Port Alice, the riders say they’re constantly reminded of the great generosity of fellow islanders.

Including David White has been donating to the cause for 25 years.

“My mom had cancer, she died in 2014, my dad had cancer, he died in ’95,” said White.

“It means the world to me, coming down and facing the riders and you know, seeing the happiness on everybody’s face, that brings cheers to me.”

So far, $600,000 has been raised.  And while riders cycle into the last legs, it’s pedal to the metal as this year’s Tour de Rock team tries to double what they already have.

Kori Sidaway