Emotion, cheers greet Tour de Rock in Esquimalt

Tour riders make stop at high school, Esquimalt Plaza

Members of the Tour de Rock bike team are welcomed to town by Esquimalt Town Cryer Redmond O'Connell on Friday morning as the team arrived at their stop at the Esquilmalt Plaza. Adriana Durian Photo.

The sound of First Nations drumming and thunderous applause from a standing ovation welcomed 21 Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock riders to Esquimalt High School this morning.

For many of the 850 staff and students in attendance including Grade 12 student Annie Do, their visit was an inspiration.

“My goal is to be a doctor someday and cancer research can help,” said Do, 17. “I think it is important to understand what (cancer patients) go through and respect that.”

Friday marks the final day of the Vancouver cycling tour, which raises funds for pediatric cancer research. The Tour de Rock team includes police officers and media riders from across the Island. The tour began in Port Alice on Sept. 24.

An organizer of the school fundraising effort, Do helped present a $2,300 cheque to the riders as they made their final push.

“Our school tried hard,” Do said. “Even though we didn’t raise as much as others in the district, we really put our heart and soul into it.”

Rider Chris Bush reflected on the support of young students.

“No matter how many schools we visit, it still amazes me how much this means to people,” the photojournalist from Black Press said. “It is going to be hard to believe it is all over at the end of the day.”

Moments later, a short ride up the road, waving flags and a town crier welcomed the riders into Esquimalt Plaza where dozens of supporters cheered the team into the parking lot where applause filled the cool air.

“You are our heroes and the beating heart of Canada,” the crier called out with a tip of his hat before welcoming Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins.

“I love the Friday when you ride in every year,’ she said before presenting $2,373.59 from a bike spinathon. “Every year we have a crowd out welcoming Tour de Rock. The community feels very engaged with this event … And Esquimalt salutes them.”

Bush, tears welling up in his eyes, found it hard to put words to his feelings as he prepared to pull away.

“It is a very emotional journey,” he said. “It is way beyond anything I expected. There is no preparation for the emotional, the physical , the journey and the experience. It is way beyond anything we expected.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greater Victoria hardly making a dent in greenhouse gas emissions target

One-per-cent drop from 2007 to 2018 a far cry from the 33-per-cent goal for 2020

Hearing begins into blind community’s complaint against BC Transit, City of Victoria

Complainant says bike lane infrastructure biased against blind pedestrians

One man in hospital with severe injuries after small fire in Victoria apartment building

Man was found by firefighters responding to multiple 911 calls about smoke on third floor

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

Roadside barriers, amphibian fencing to be installed along Prospect Lake Road

Crews on-site 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., traffic impacts expected through September

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Most Read