At 1 a.m. Saturday when Doug Franklin’s legs and back are aching, and the end of his 24-hour bike ride is still 12 hours away, he’ll close his eyes for a split second and think about why he’s riding.
“Going to Camp Goodtimes and witnessing these kids being kids, and seeing them laughing and smiling and just doing normal things – things that we take for granted every day,” Franklin said of his recent experience visiting the camp for kids battling cancer. “Just knowing that I can be a very, very, very small part of that process and their happiness gives me all the motivation I need to keep pedalling.”
Franklin, a Saanich bike cop, is a member of the 2013 Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team, and one of four Tour de Rock riders participating in a 24-hour ride around UVic’s Ring Road, beginning Friday at 1 p.m. Saanich police Const. Lisa Bruschetta, Oak Bay reserve Const. Aubrey Blackhall and Saanich police quartermaster, Kevin Nunn, are also riding.
“Seeing so many of my adult family and friends who’ve gone through cancer and are in remission, I can’t even imagine how hard that would be for a child,” Bruschetta said. “Sitting there and riding, and maybe having a few aches and pains, can’t compare. We can’t begin to fathom what they’re going through.”
The four riders are hoping supporters will riding alongside them over the 24 hours, and donate to help funding pediatric cancer research and support programs.
“One hundred per cent of what they donate is going to our kids,” said Bruschetta, a mother of two.
“If they don’t have a child, it could be someone that they’re going to support down the road. We’re all eventually going to know someone who has cancer or is remission, so come out and support us to make sure that we either get a cure for this horrible disease, or we support Camp Goodtimes to bring some joy to these children.”
In addition to donations being accepted to ride with the team members, there will be other fundraisers happening throughout the 24-hour period.
For a $10 donation, you can take a guess on how many laps around the 1.9-kilometre route team members will ride. The closest guess will win a downtown Victoria night-out package that includes movie tickets, a night at the Chateau Victoria and breakfast at Vista 18.
A by-donation hot dog sale will also happen beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Bruschetta and Franklin say they feel physically and mentally prepared for the weekend’s tough ride, but know that it’ll require laser focus on their own motivations to ensure they succeed.
“I think in the wee hours of the morning is where we’re just going to have to start thinking about our junior riders, the kids that we’re riding for, and the support that they need,” Bruschetta said.
“This is not even a dot on the map compared to what these kids are going through – that’s what’s motivating me, that’s what’s mentally preparing me. I’m ready to do this for them,” Franklin added.
The day-long ride begins at 1 p.m. Friday and ends at 1 p.m. Saturday at the University of Victoria.
The Tour de Rock team will cycle nearly 1,100 kilometres from Port Alice to Victoria this fall, raising money for pediatric cancer research and Camp Goodtimes.