Cycle of Life Tour riders Megan Rivard, left, and Krys Sciberras fundraise for the Pacific Rim Hospice Society at a Canada Day BBQ at the Tofino Village Green. Local family Kayla, Kaija, and Chris Lemon stopped by to support the cause before exploring the market. (Nora O’Malley / Westerly News)

Tofino cyclists raising funds for Pacific Rim Hospice Society

Local riders hope drivers share the road along Pacific Rim Highway journey

The Pacific Rim Hospice Society has two local bike riders participating in the sixth annual Cycle of Life Tour this July 28 and 29. Returning rider Krys Sciberras will take on the 200-kilometre South Island cycling tour for her second consecutive year with first time rider Megan Rivard.

Organized by the Victoria Hospice Society, the Cycle of Life Tour provides financial support and raises awareness for hospice care across Vancouver Island.

Sciberras and Rivard hope to fundraise $5,000 throughout their campaign. Every dollar they earn from their efforts will stay within the Pacific Rim Hospice Society, which serves Tofino, Ucluelet, and neighbouring First Nations communities.

“Hospice is pretty close to my heart in the sense that they do so much for this community with very minimal funds,” said Sciberras. “I don’t think the community really appreciates how much they actually do.”

Hospice volunteers and staff provide emotional care for the dying, the bereaved, and those facing life-threatening illness. They also host a walking groups for seniors, trauma workshops, and volunteer training for youth who want to work in the health care field.

Sciberras, a clinical coordinator for Vancouver Island Health Authority, has been riding from Tofino to Ucluelet three times a week to prepare for the two-day cycle tour through Saanich Inlet, Cowichan Valley, and Gulf Islands. She said she often goes on training rides with Amanda McRae, who was named to the 2018 Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team in early June.

READ: Tofino local named to Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team

READ: Is your community bike friendly enough?

Both riders shared frustrations with cycling along the cramped Pacific Rim Highway.

“It’s very challenging. We are actively trying to support our community so just cut us some slack and move over. It’s like a three second delay,” Sciberras said.

McRae called out the obtuse drivers.

“It’s usually the locals, not the tourists,” she said. “I’ve had people pull over and get out of their vehicle and start harassing me.”

They urged drivers to be more cautious when they see a cyclist along Highway 4.

“People get really pissed off at us on the road. It’s really ironic if you hit me and kill me as I’m training for Hospice,” Sciberras said.

Since 2011, the Cycle for Life Tour has raised more than $497,000 for hospice care on Vancouver Island. Anyone interested in supporting Sciberras and Rivard is encouraged to visit: www.cycleoflifetour.ca and then, under ‘donate to a team’, search for ‘Pacific Rim’.

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