UK cyclist plans to travel Vancouver Island to raise funds for the BC Cancer Foundation

UK cyclist Ollie Blackmore will cycle around Vancouver Island starting on June 22, and passing through Sooke on his final leg.

On June 22

On June 22

On June 22, United Kingdom cyclist Ollie Blackmore will be leaving Sidney, B.C. for a 15-day solo cycle around Vancouver Island, in an attempt to raise $25,000 for the BC Cancer Foundation. He will be riding through Sooke on his final stretch to Victoria, and we can expect to see him flashing through our town on the tail end first weekend in July. He used to visit his grandparents in Victoria. “That’s where I got the taste for the island and fell in love with it,” wrote Blackmore in an email.

Blackmore will take the long way to Sooke on his way to Victoria. First, he will head up the coast to Nanaimo, then up to Port Hardy.  From here, he’ll venture into the most Northerly part of the island through to Quatsino and to Coal Harbour. The following days will see him ride through gruelling terrain to get to Tahsis, and then onwards to Comox Lake. He’ll skirt around the edge of Port Alberni heading down to Bamfield.  From there, through our lovely quarters of Port Renfrew and Sooke, finishing at the inner harbour in Victoria.

That’s 2,300 km through bear and cougar country. Alone.

“I will be totally unsupported,” wrote Blackmore. “I created this challenge myself. I’ll be riding it alone and camping each night.  I will pass through communities etc and will no doubt need to restock for some parts but I’ll be 80 per cent self-sufficient with tools, clothes and food camping wild much of the time.”

He will be armed with a cell phone and GPS tracker with an SOS button, though he hopes he won’t have to use that.

Regarding a concern for encountering wildlife, Blackmore countered fears with education.

“I have to say I have had quite a few nightmares about encountering bears and cougars and in some ways I would love to if it was a safe one!  However, I have done a lot of research into what to do, campsite management and so on so I’m pretty well prepared.  It adds that extra element to the challenge knowing I could be cycling close to bears or being watched by a cougar.  My bike has two eyes cut into the back to warn them off, along with some First Nations inspired illustrations of bears and cougars as a mark of respect.”

For this event he has collected quite an array of equipment to help him both when riding and camping in the wild. This includes things like one of the world’s smallest and lightest tents, the Nemo Gogo Elite, and even a bear bell to (hopefully) scare away the odd bear. However, perhaps the most important piece of equipment is the bike itself. With a bespoke design and built from British manufacturer Donhou bikes, his “gravel raver bike” as it’s known is a bike like no other that sports a custom paint job inspired by Canadian culture and history.

Blackmore will be doing this while carrying over 35 kg of extra weight up hills that reach gradients of nearly 40 per cent. In fact, on many occasions throughout the challenge he will be facing climbs of over 16,000 ft., something that the Tour De France only beats on one of its stages.

Currently, Blackmore is fundraising. “I’m still some way off getting to the $25,000 target in Canada.  I have a number of pledges so it’s around $4,000 at the moment,” he wrote. “My motivation is knowing the money will go to local BC Cancer Foundation causes on the Island and help those who really need it with care, support, medical assistance, research and so on.”

For more info about the challenge, visit cyclechallengecanada.com/, or on his Facebook fan page at facebook.com/cyclechallengecanada.

To contact Ollie, please email ollie.blackmore@gmail.com or call +44 (0) 7957 191 757.

 

Just Posted

The City of Victoria is proposing a northern contraction from Haultain Street to Bay Street with a western contraction from Cook Street to Chambers Street for Fernwood. (Illustration/Google Maps)
Community association calls for input on Victoria boundary changes

City of Victoria proposes changes to neighbourhood borders

After seizing a handgun from his home on Tuesday, Victoria police arrested a wanted man on Wednesday after he fled officers on his bike. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man wanted on several warrants flees Victoria officers on bike

He was arrested after a brief struggle, transported to hospital with injuries

Divyesh Nagarajan, third from the left, has founded the Be My Friend project to bring support and companionship to vulnerable youth and address North Saanich’s food security challenges. (Courtesy of Divyesh Nagarajan)
Greater Victoria teen looks to connect vulnerable youth with a buddy, bolster food security

Be My Friend project was founded by St. Michaels University School student Divyesh Nagarajan

These are just a handful of Vancouver Island’s missing person cases. Clockwise from top left: Lisa Marie Young, Lindsey Nicholls, Micheal Dunahee, Jesokah Adkens, Belinda Cameron and Emma Fillipoff. (File photos courtesy of family members and police departments)
Gorge skull fragment could bring closure to one Greater Victoria missing person case

Skeletal remains found in Greater Victoria have not yet been identified

(Black Press Media file photo)
UPDATE: Sooke Road reopens after gas leak at Colwood Corners

SD62 warns afternoon buses could be delayed

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

A nurse asks screening questions at an immunization appointment in Nanaimo earlier this year. (Shawn Wagar/Island Health photo)
Island Health appreciates nurses answering the call in challenging times

Health authority draws attention to National Nursing Week

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Indigenous woman shot by police was holding a replica gun, says Ucluelet First Nation

Woman has been identified as a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Most Read