It is going to be an emotional finale.
Thirteen days into the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, only hours remain before Victoria police officer Ryan Koropatniski cycles his way into the Capital.
Despite plenty of preparation from fellow Victoria Police Department tour riders, what he thought he knew has paled in the face of the actual experience. And the finale has yet to come.
“In my head I knew we would be going from community to community, but I didn’t know the support would be as huge as it is,” said Koropatnisk, a seven-year veteran of the VicPD.
“It is absolutely fantastic rolling into a small town like Ladysmith and (the event) is full. They are very generous people. We had that right from the start in Port Alice and it is beautiful.”
Koropatniski and 23 other riders left Port Alice on Sept. 20 for a 1,000-kilometre trek down Vancouver Island, fundraising for pediatric cancer.
And as he has pedaled from town to town, school to school, there is one spot that he know will hold special significance: his kids’ school.
“Fortunately I get to see (my children’s school), I am excited to go there and they are excited I am going there,” he said. “There is (also) going to be part of another team I am a part of, the Victoria Police escort team. It’s going to be more emotion there just seeing everyone together and all rallying for this cause, I have no idea how I am going to react.”
Besides Koropatniski, other Victoria riders on the Tour de Rock team include Detective Const. Lori Lumley, Const. Jennifer Young, Adam Carruthers from CFB Esquimalt, Katie DeRosa from the Times Colonist and Chandler Grieve from CTV.
Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock wraps up its two-week tour of Vancouver Island today (Oct. 3) when the team visits Saanich, Esquimalt and Victoria. The grand finale begins at Spirit Square (next to Victoria City Hall), beginning at 4:30 p.m.