TOUR de ROCK: OK, now it’s personal

Black Press photographer Chris Bush wants to drop-kick cancer into history books

Chris Bush

Chris Bush

Chris Bush has a bone to pick with cancer.

In the last few years, cancer has taken his mother, aunt and three friends, the latter of whom were all close to Bush’s age of 53.

His aunt, who died in June, is described by Bush, a Black Press photographer based in Nanaimo, as a “vibrant woman with no reason to shut down at all.”

Not one to normally participate in the seemingly weekly five-kilometre local runs for cancer, Bush decided over many months to participate in something a little bigger – the 2011 Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock.

The bicycle journey will take Bush and 21 Island teammates from Port Hardy to Victoria from Sept. 24 to Oct. 7 to raise money for Camp Goodtimes, a retreat for children with cancer, and pediatric cancer research.

Some of Bush’s reasons for participating are selfish, some are to help others, while others still are to do his part to drop-kick cancer into the history books.

He wants to do it while he still can.

“I’m grateful at my age to be able to do this. A lot of people can’t,” said Bush, the oldest member of the team.

“I’ve always wanted to cycle the Island and this is a great opportunity. At the same time, I’m helping kids and getting a better understanding of what it’s all about. It’s hard to overstate how neat this experience has been so far.”

The training rides are gruelling – one in mid-July included a ride up the 18-kilometre Strathcona Parkway to Mt. Washington – but necessary to prepare the riders for the 1,000-kilometre tour that visits nearly every village, town and city along the way.

Hard work, long drives to get to training sites and late dinners aside, Bush said the experience is worth it.

To balance home, work and Tour de Rock responsibilities, he’s had to lean on his network of supporters, mostly his wife Laurie. He has also forged many friendships on the team, a group of people he describes as committed and interesting.

“You really get to like your teammates a lot,” he said.

Team members are made up of police, auxiliary police and media, all of whom need to raise a minimum of $5,000.

Along with training rides, team members are asked to participate in community events leading up to the tour, the most notable for Bush being a visit with children at Camp Goodtimes last week.

“It’s going to be interesting,” he said, before leaving for the camp. “I know it’s going to be emotional. Any time you’re confronted with kids in a difficult situation it’s tough. I won’t know how I’ll react until I get there.”

Until the tour officially begins, Bush said he’s going to continue to keep pace with the increasing demands that come with being a tour rider. He’ll continue to put the kilometres in, do his best to fundraise to meet his goal of $25,000 and continue to have fun.

“You only get one shot at this and that’s it,” he said. “But I’m feeling healthy – healthy as I’ve ever been. My clothes are loose, my lungs are healthy, I’m tired but it’s a good tired.”

 

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

Just Posted

Victoria police will be working to arrest as many people with active warrants as possible during #VicPDWarrantWednesday May 12. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police aim to make mass arrests during #VicPDWarrantWednesday

Officers working to locate people with active arrest warrants

According to Statistics Canada, Greater Victoria’s unemployment rose half a per cent to 6.2 per cent in April 2021 compared to the previous month. (Black Press Media File)
Unemployment in Greater Victoria continues to rise

April figures peg local unemployment at 6.2%

A partnership is looking to identify skeletal remains that were discovered by recreational divers in the Gorge Waterway this February. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Divers find partial human skull in Gorge Waterway

B.C. Coroner Service determines remains likely historical, not ancestral

Rendering of a possible amphitheatre on the bluffs at the south end of the Royal Beach development. (Seacliff Properties image)
Colwood signs development agreement for Royal Beach at old quarry

Plan includes 18 hectares of park, 2,850 homes and lots of retail

Passengers onboard WestJet flight 3116 from Victoria to Calgary May 5 may have been exposed to a case of COVID-19. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)
New flight exposure reported between Calgary and Victoria

Passengers on WestJet flight 3116 May 5 affected

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

RCMP. (Black Press File)
Major Crimes called in after two bodies discovered on remote road near Penticton

A manhunt involving a police helicopter took place on May 10

Vancouver court on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Defence lawyers call foul as Crown counsel granted access to COVID-19 vaccines

Defence attorneys are pushing the province to extend inoculation access to workers in courtrooms across B.C.

A Nanaimo RCMP officer is recovering after his patrol car was hit by another vehicle at an intersection on Monday, May 10. (Photo courtesy Julia Rose)
RCMP vehicle broad-sided in Nanaimo intersection crash

Police officer recovering at home following collision Monday

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. Indigenous leaders are calling for an investigation into the conduct of Mounties on Vancouver Island after two police shootings of members of a small First Nations community in three months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Indigenous leaders call for clarity, investigation into RCMP after B.C. shooting

The RCMP declined to comment on the requests by Indigenous leaders

Colleen Price, Vancouver Island University’s bachelor of science in nursing program chairperson, says she is impressed with how students have persevered through the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Next generation of B.C. nurses already showing resilience

University program head says learning had to be adjusted amidst pandemic

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old B.C. bike rider already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Most Read