Cyclists remember Boomer

Vancouver Island legacy ride helps soldiers help others.

In life Cpl. Andrew “Boomer” Eykelenboom was a dedicated soldier and a Canadian Forces medic committed to saving lives and helping the Afghan people realize freedom.

Eykelenboom was killed by a suicide bomber in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan Aug. 11, 2006, but his memory lives on through Boomer’s Legacy, a foundation created in 2006 to bring awareness to the Canadian Force’s efforts around the globe and to raise funds that members can access to further help the people in communities where they serve with food, medical supplies and other essentials.

Registration is now open for the 2012 Boomer’s Legacy Bike Ride taking place from Comox to Victoria June 15-16.

The two-day, 240-kilometre event begins on the Friday at Canadian Forces Base Comox and finishes the first leg at the Brigadier D.R. Sergent Armoury at 709 Nanaimo Lakes Rd. in Nanaimo.

Cyclists continue the ride the next day, finishing in downtown Victoria.

The ride unofficially began in 2007 when one Canadian Forces member rode from Victoria to Comox with the aim of building greater awareness of the foundation.

Since then, it has grown steadily in the number of participants, pledges and donations, adding more sponsors wishing to be part of the cause. To date, it has raised more than $125,000.

“Each year we see more riders of all ages and fitness levels, military and civilian, that want to be part of the energy and enthusiasm that this event creates,” said Maureen Eykelenboom, Boomer’s mother and foundation founder. “The Boomer’s Legacy Bike Ride brings out the very best in everybody wanting to make a difference in the lives of others.

“It’s an experience that will have a profound impact on our cyclists for years to come.”

For more information, or to register, or donate, please visit www.boomerslegacy.ca.

Route and cyclist’s information packages are  also available online.