Tour de Rock is just about ready to roll.
Beginning this weekend, more than two dozen riders – mostly members of the RCMP – will begin a 1,100-kilometre bike ride across Vancouver Island as part of the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, an annual event that raises money for the Canadian Cancer Society.
The 24 tour riders will start their journey on Sept. 21 with a drive up to Port Alice. Between Sept. 22-28 they will travel through and stop in Port Hardy, Woss, Sayward, Campbell River, the Comox Valley, Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Port Alberni and Ucluelet. On Sept. 29, after a brief stop in Tofino, the riders will roll into Nanaimo, where they will remain until Sept. 30. The Tour de Rock will conclude on Oct. 4 in Victoria.
Among the 24 riders participating in this year’s Tour de Rock are Cydney MacNeill and Simon Douthwaite of Nanaimo.
Douthwaite said it “means the world” to the team to be able to be part of the event and cycle for the cause and the team members are ready to get going.
“Hopefully it will be sunny when we start; it’s a lot more fun in the sun,” he said. “We’ve been training since March, three days a week and we’ve been training really hard so I think we’re all feeling ready to go. We’re feeling good, physically fit and excited.”
A few fundraisers and events for the Tour de Rock are scheduled to take place in Nanaimo while the riders are in town.
The Tour de Rock Station Stop fundraiser event, which features live music, First Nations dancing and family activities, is set to take place on Sept. 29 between 12-5 p.m. at the Coach and Horses pub, 321 Selby St. The event is organized by the Island Corridor Foundation.
The Nite on the Town Gala, featuring a buffet dinner, live music as well as a silent and live auction, will be held at the Coast Bastion Hotel at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 29.
On Sept. 30, members of the Nanaimo Fire Rescue will race Tour de Rock riders to Ladysmith in an old-style pump train car. The race will take place as soon as the tour riders depart for Ladysmith and Chemainus on Sept. 30.
Money raised during the Tour de Rock will support the Canadian Cancer Society’s cancer research efforts and its programs.