More than 100 police officers and emergency services personnel will slip into spandex, strap on their helmets and hit the road this month as part of the the annual Cops for Cancer cycling tours to raise awareness and money for pediatric cancer research.
A total of 107 cyclists will participate in four different tours that will visit businesses and schools from Fort St. John in the province’s north to the southernmost reaches of Vancouver Island.
“For more than 15 years, communities throughout the Fraser Valley have welcomed us, hosting events that we look forward to each year,” says rider Trevor Sales, the team captain for the Tour de Valley, which takes riders from Tsawwassen to Boston Bar.
“It’s hard to describe the feeling when you see the lengths people go to, welcoming and supporting the riders, because they too believe that no child should have to face cancer.”
In addition to the Tour de Valley, the Tour de Rock will cover Vancouver Island, the Tour de North will travel through northern British Columbia from Prince George to Prince Rupert (with a stop in Kitimat), and the Tour de Coast will journey around Greater Vancouver and up to Powell River and Pemberton.
While the rides begin in September, the cyclists are already in the midst of their fundraising and training efforts.
On Sunday, for example, the Tour de Valley riders embarked on a 160-kilometre ride beginning and ending in Abbotsford.
“All Cops for Cancer riders take part in rigorous training – they need to learn how to pace themselves and ride in a peloton,” says Allan Mugford, Fraser Valley regional director for the Canadian Cancer Society. “But what they can never prepare for is the emotional impact of seeing a child with cancer and the toll it takes on their entire family.”
The Cops for Cancer campaign runs through September, with money raised going to fund leading edge cancer research and support programs operated by the Canadian Cancer Society like Camp Goodtimes.
Find the tour and donate online at Copsforcancerbc.ca or at Facebook.com/CopsforCancerBC.
• Tour de Coast (Greater Vancouver) September 17-25
• Tour de North (Northern BC) September 12-18
• Tour de Rock (Vancouver Island) September 20-October 3
• Tour de Valley (Fraser Valley) September 25-October 3