TOUR de ROCK: All pumped up

The Tour de Rock demands total commitment from its riders – both on and off their bikes

Island District RCMP Const. Sandi Swanson

When the 22-person Tour de Rock cycling team rides across Vancouver Island this fall, they need to do more than just pump out 1,000 kilometres in two weeks.

After a grueling day in the saddle, they still have school children to talk to and fundraisers to attend.

“We need to get to the point where cycling 100 kilometres feels easy, so we don’t just want to go to bed after a ride,” said Island District RCMP Const. Manon Chouinard who, before qualifying for this year’s team, had never ridden a road bike.

Since March riders have spent about eight hours per week on their bike with three mandatory weekly training sessions focusing on hills, speed and distance. If anyone misses a ride, they have to make it up on their own.

“You don’t want to fall behind. Every week we’re building on what we did the week before,” Chouinard said.

A recent hill-training included powering up Mount Washington, a steep 20-kilometre climb.

When the training gets tough, West Shore RCMP Const. Rod Fraser said he just thinks about the reason he volunteered for the tour.

“It’s all for the kids with cancer. We’re doing this by choice, but they don’t get an option to be sick or not,” said Fraser, who as a teenager lost his father to cancer.

Money raised by the Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock goes to pediatric cancer research. Since it started in 1998, the annual ride has raised more then $15 million.

Riders set their own fundraising target and organize events to bring in donations. Island District RCMP Const. Sandi Swanson has fundraisers planned almost every weekend to meet her goal to raise $12,000.

“I’m either at a fundraiser or planning a fundraiser,” Swanson said.

Many of her fundraising ideas, from barbecues to garage sales, come from colleagues who did the ride in previous years. The ride has a roster of business sponsors who give in-kind donations to aid fundraisers.

“We get nothing but support at every turn,” Swanson said. “Being a cop, we work long hours and see a lot of hard things. Seeing the other side, the generosity, and being able to give back, it’s an amazing opportunity.”

Officers are only allowed to participate in Tour de Rock once in their career, which is extra incentive to give it their all. Fraser is hoping to raise $15,000 and Chouinard is aiming for $20,000.

In the next two months, there will be many fundraisers throughout the region with proceeds going to Tour de Rock.

Swanson is holding drop-in jazzercise at the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence in Saanich,  Aug. 6 from 1 to 5 p.m.

Fraser has a pancake breakfast and garage sale at the West Shore RCMP station in Langford, Aug. 13 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Chouinard hopes to see 400 people attend her “Tank-top, Flip-flop Hop,” a beach-theme dance party for all ages, at the Bay Street Armoury in Victoria, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Bacteria levels lead to swimming advisory at Saanich park

Craigflower-Kosapsum Park among regional beaches with swim advisories

Woman who talked to unconscious husband, a Victoria police officer, for 30 years focus of study

Ian Jordan suffered a head injury when he and another officer were on their way to a call in Victoria in September 1987

Victoria’s Raging Grannies to demonstrate against public funding of for-profit senior homes

Group says COVID-19 has revealed ‘sad state of extended care’ in B.C.

New ECG will diagnose life-threatening emergencies in ‘timely manner’ in Sooke

Machine funded by the Sooke and Juan de Fuca Health Foundation

VIDEO: Dashcam footage shows Victoria police-involved crash

Video shows VicPD officer strike another vehicle at intersection

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Time to protect B.C.’s unique glass sponge reefs, conservation group says

Climate change is a “serious and immediate threat” to the 9,000-year old sponges: study

Time to protect B.C.’s unique glass sponge reefs, conservation group says

Climate change is a “serious and immediate threat” to the 9,000-year old sponges: study

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Indigenous leader Ed John pleads not guilty to historical sex charges

Ed John’s lawyer entered the plea by telephone on behalf of his client

RCMP investigate threat against Indigenous totem poles on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast

Police describe the nature of the threat as ‘sensitive’

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Most Read