Many of us are impacted by cancer. It might make us feel scared or angry. But 17 brave and determined cyclists are reminding us not to feel helpless or hopeless – the Tour de Rock is now underway.
The annual Cops for Cancer fundraiser ride started Saturday in Port Alice and is making its way south, passing through Campbell River today (Sept. 27). The riders will detour west to Tofino and Ucluelet before they arrive in Nanaimo on Sunday.
The Tour de Rock has made a difference and will continue to make a difference. Since 1998, the initiative has raised $21 million for pediatric cancer research and support programs for cancer patients.
Other places have similar rides, but really, the Tour de Rock is one of a kind. For many reasons, it has developed a strong, important connection in our Vancouver Island communities, among the police officers who ride, those of us who support them, and all the various cancer agencies and volunteers and friends of the tour. The police and those they serve have a better relationship here, we think, in part because of the tour, because it unites us in a common cause.
The ultimate goal of curing cancer isn’t insurmountable, perhaps, but it’s a long way off. A 1,000-kilometre bike ride won’t bring us there, but it brings us closer.
And those of us who aren’t personally expending any pedal power can still be part of the journey. There’s a Red Serge Gala on Sunday at the Coast Bastion Hotel and there are numerous quick stops around the city on Monday when we can greet the riders, support them, thank them, make a donation and speed them on their way (visit www.tourderock.ca for a detailed schedule).
The Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock riders are taking to Vancouver Island’s highways and hills right now because they have somewhere they want to go, a destination in mind, a goal that’s far off on the horizon, but a place they just might be able to reach if they pedal far enough.