COVID-19 tried its best, but it didn’t stop Tour de Rock from returning this year.
The annual Cops for Cancer bike ride powered its way through some terrible North Island weather conditions on Wednesday (Sept. 23), which was the official start of the trek down island to Victoria.
The bike ride usually lasts for two weeks and makes 200 stops in more than 27 communities along the route to raise a battle cry across Vancouver Island for kids with cancer, but this year has a slightly different format.
After arriving at Carrot Park in Port Hardy around 10:00 a.m., alumni rider Alli Roberts, who works for RLC Park Services and is representing the City of Nanaimo, noted this year’s ride is “very different — we’re not riding the entire way because we are hitting more towns in a shorter amount of time, so we don’t have to ride all the distance in between and will be riding mainly within the communities we are going to.”
While it was raining hard with flashes of thunder and lightning when the team left Port Alice around 8:00 a.m., Roberts said they always go back to the mantra that “this is so much easier than what kids go through having to battle cancer… As an alumni, having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me because I believe so much in this cause, and knowing that we are able to provide even the tiniest bit of hope to kids and families at the worst times in their life is worth all the rain and all the lightning.”
Tour de Rock arrived in Port McNeill around 11:00 a.m. for lunch and then headed off down Island to Woss and Sayward where they will stay overnight.
The ride continues Sept. 24 in Campbell River and the Comox Valley.