Editorial: Tour’s journey is important

The Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, a two-week cycling journey Vancouver Island, starts this Saturday (Sept. 19).

The Tour de Rock is not a race, it’s a ride, but then again, maybe it is a race – if not to beat cancer, then to try.

Twenty-one benevolent, brave, fit riders will set out Saturday (Sept. 19) on the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, a two-week cycling journey from the north end of Vancouver Island, to points west, then all the way to the southernmost shore.

The participants – 17 police officers, three members of the military and a media rider – will pedal to checkpoints along the way, not in a cycle sprint to the finish, but as a team. They’re not out to win any yellow jerseys, rather, they’re supporting, together, the yellow daffodil that symbolizes the Canadian Cancer Society and its good work and its endless task.

The Cops for Cancer’s efforts have raised $20 million since the ride’s inception in 1998. That money can and will make a difference, going not only to programs for children with cancer and their families, but also to pediatric cancer research.

There are two ways that we, as a community, can be part of the Tour de Rock as it passes through Nanaimo this month. The first is to donate to the fundraising efforts, either by attending the Red Serge Dinner Sept. 27 at the Coast Bastion Hotel, or stopping by Maffeo Sutton Park for a lunchtime barbecue and rally the next day to speed the riders on their way. The other way we can help is simply to watch for the tour on those days, yield the right-of-way, and offer our smiles, waves, thumbs-up and encouragement.

Because they’re pedalling toward something good and true and worthy. There are sick kids here, and elsewhere, and it will forever be so, and we will be the ones who must care for them and care about them.

Let’s cheer on the Cops for Cancer as they complete the Tour de Rock. Let’s cheer on the members of this team, the home team, our team, as they ride, and in a way, race.