VicPD constable and rider Jennifer Young: 'People get to see a side of police officers that we don’t often have a chance to show them.” Image credit: contributed

Vancouver Island police officers, communities gearing up for Tour de Rock

Four VicPD officers and MP from Canadian Forces taking part in 1,000-kilometre trek

  • Sep. 2, 2014 2:00 p.m.

In the past 17 years, Tour de Rock has grown to become one of Vancouver Island’s most successful and popular fundraisers. With the tour just two weeks away, the team of 24 cyclists, including four officers from Victoria, are gearing up for the cross-Island ride.

Tour de Rock starts Sept. 20 in Port Alice, where the team will begin its 14-day ride to Victoria, stopping in mire than 20 communities along the way.

Each day will take the riders will travel between 35 and 140 kilometres, including trips from the east to west coasts of the Island. By the end of the journey, the team will have cycled more than 1,000 kilometres.

Despite the immense length, the real measure of success for Tour de Rock, like any fundraiser, stems from the donations. Since its debut in 1998, the tour has raised $20 million, including $1.3 million last year, for the Canadian Cancer Society for its pediatric research and support programs, such as the society’s Camp Goodtimes summer camp.

“Everyone knows somebody who has battled cancer. It’s just such a prevalent disease now, everybody has a story to tell,” said VicPD Const. Jennifer Young, a rider on this year’s team.

“Taking part in something like the Tour de Rock is a good way to feel like you’re directly helping.”

Despite the 1,000 kilometres ahead of him, VicPD officer and rider Const. Ryan Koropatniski said that the most challenging part of the Tour de Rock has been fundraising.

“Speaking with past riders, I knew it was going to be the bigger hurdle, asking for donations is just out of my norm,” he said. “Once we start rolling through communities, it will ramp up the fundraising, make it easier. I believe I’ll hit my goal, even surpass it.”

Young said this year marks a transition for her, as its her first spent outside of the major crime unit in six years – finally giving her a chance to commit to something as large as the Tour de Rock outside of work.

Young said that she admires how the Tour de Rock’s impact goes beyond just raising money, and the effect it has on the communities it passes through, something which Koropatniski echoed.

“I’ve been blown away by how supportive and tightly-knit communities on the Island are,” she said. “And I like that people get to see a side of police officers that we don’t often have a chance to show them.”

Along with the cyclists collecting pledges, Tour de Rock also raises money through community events. This year, Victoria has already hosted fitness classes, musical concerts and a 1920s-themed lawn bowling tournament, with more events, like Flow de Rock, a fundraiser based around flow yoga, coming later this month.

The riders representing Victoria this year are Jennifer Young, Lori Lumley and Ryan Koropatniski of the VicPD, as well as Adam Carruthers, who serves with the military police at CFB Esquimalt. They’re set to leave Port Alice on Sept. 21, and will be arriving in Esquimalt and Victoria on Oct. 3 before the finale at Spirit Square in Saanich on the same day.

Just Posted

VicPD seeks person of interest after short-term rental ransacked

Combined losses for damage and theft are over $5,000

Whitecaps favourite switches to the Island

Marcel de Jong worked to end Whitecaps contract, joining Pacific FC on the ground floor

RCMP ask for public’s help to determine cause of weekend fire

RCMP are investigating the cause of the South Island Concrete fire

UVic’s cutting-edge centre leading the way in drones and AI

Centre For Aerospace Research works with partners including Department of National Defence

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

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

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Most Read