As Arnold Lim pedalled through driving rain out of Port Alice nearly two weeks ago, he began questioning what he had gotten himself into.
Lim, Black Press’ Tour de Rock media rider, says the first 20 kilometres – mostly uphill – out of Port Alice were “maybe the most challenging physical activity I’ve had in my entire life. There was a moment where I questioned my ability to continue.”
But that moment was fleeting, as Lim put his mind to the reason he’s riding.
“I was thinking about the people we were meeting, the communities we were visiting,” he said.
“Whatever we see out there, no matter how hard we train, no matter how hard we ride, no matter what we’re going through on the bikes, we’re never doing as much as people – children – who are in hospitals and are suffering by going through chemotherapy and spinal taps and their treatments.
“I’m not here to complain, I’m here to do the ride to make things better for them.”
By Wednesday the team will have cycled some 850 kilometres and made its way into Greater Victoria, spending the next three days visiting schools and community supporters.
Lim, a father of two, says now that he’s on tour he sees just how thorough the training regimen was to prepare the team for the physical side of the ride. But the emotional parts – from meeting children with cancer to meeting parents who’ve lost their child to the disease – he wasn’t prepared for.
Lim says he’s looking forward to spending time riding in Victoria, especially since the team will be stopping at his children’s school on Friday.
“I’m going to see my kids at Lochside school for the first time since leaving on tour,” he said. “I don’t know how emotionally well I’ll be – I may need them to emotionally prop me up. While I miss my children, while I miss my family, I know this is something that I need to do.”
Among the stops the team will make in the coming days are events tonight at Bear Mountain, a fundraiser for West Shore RCMP rider Donna Fraser, and at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney tomorrow from 2 to 4 p.m.
There will also be a number of school stops, including Oak Bay High and Reynolds secondary, both of which raise tens of thousands of dollars each year for pediatric cancer research and support programs.
The 16th annual Tour de Rock comes to an end on Friday, with a finale celebration in Victoria’s Centennial Square from 4 to 6:30 p.m.
For more information on all the public Tour de Rock events and fundraisers in Greater Victoria, visit tourderock.ca.