Training for the Tour de Rock may be more daunting than the actual tour, but riders Donna Fraser and Mike Oliver are gearing up for the challenge. And both riders are thrilled their spouses are so supportive.
Learning to clip into peddles on a bicycle was the first skill novice rider Donna Fraser learned for the 2013 Tour de Rock.
“I’d never clipped into peddles before, it took a tumble or two to get it, but I don’t think I will go back now,” she said.
The West Shore RCMP auxiliary constable is no stranger to the tour, – her husband, West Shore RCMP Const. Rod Fraser, was a tour rider in 2011.
“As an alumni rider I can come out on the training rides,” Rod said. “It’s really neat to see her doing it.”
Rod trains with the team whenever he isn’t working.
“He’s awesome to have supporting me, especially knowing he’s done it before,” Donna said. “He has helped me tremendously and he’s been an awesome support.”
Before being accepted for the Tour team, neither Rod nor Donna were avid cyclists, but the couple has found a passion for cycling and say it’s something they will continue to do together after the Tour.
“I know what she’s going through as far as training is going,” Rod said. “Right now they are training her for the physical aspects but nothing can prepare you for the emotional part. For me it was very emotional.”
Meanwhile, Sgt. Mike Oliver is happy to have a stable posting at CFB Esquimalt as a military police officer.
A 16-year military veteran who joined the police in 2002, he has spent much of career deployed overseas, including hotspots like Bosnia and Afghanistan.
This year he joined the tour as he was fortunate enough to be in the country and was eager to take part.
“I’ve spent a lot of my time deployed and I have been helping people abroad,” Oliver said.
Oliver’s wife Tracey has been instrumental in his fundraising.
“This has been for her as much of a journey as it’s been for me,” he said. “She’s been on board with every fundraiser. She’s been in the dunk tank and done car washes.”
Mike’s fundraisers have been so successful he reached his initial goal of $5,000 months ago. He doubled his goal to $10,000 and just surpassed that one too.
Oliver has always led an active lifestyle through running, going to the gym and playing hockey. This is the first time he’s ever spent so much time training on a bike.
“Riding in a group setting isn’t the same as just riding on the road. You really have to pay attention to what you are doing,” he said.
The 2013 Tour de Rock team began training in March and has trained hard three days a week working on hills, speed and distance training.
Originally from Ottawa, training for the Tour has been a way for Mike to explore Greater Victoria and have a chance to see Vancouver Island tip-to-tip. “I’ve never been past Courtenay,” he said.