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Tour de Rock ride makes its way to the Comox Valley

Nearly two dozen Tour de Rock riders made their way into the Comox Valley on Wednesday, the fifth day of their cycling journey across Vancouver Island to raise money for childhood cancer research.

The year marks the 25th anniversary of the event, and rider Robin Campbell from Courtenay, B.C., was happy to be heading for her hometown.

"It's for a great cause," Campbell said. "I have a little junior rider. Her name is Amaeya. She is my shining star and I’m doing this for her."

The Courtenay rider is also part of the Cups for Cancer campaign, an equestrian fundraiser that benefits the same cause.

"This year, there’s a little girl from an elementary school we're going to be going to who raised $6,000 for a buckle that was in memory of my previous partner," she said.

The $6,000 donation was just one of many collected at school events in the region.

"A lot of people look at this as a two-week commitment," said Steve Robinson, a Saanich police officer and the team's spokesperson. "But the team has been training for eight months, so this is really full-time, really a lifestyle while you’re training for this ride.

"I had a fairly significant bout with my own cancer in 2009 and tried out for the team the next year and actually made one of the bike seats in 2011," Robinson added.

John Belanger has spent 12 years with the team as a motorcycle escort, keeping the team safe as the riders travel down island highways and streets.

"I always tell people you have to have your head on a swivel, otherwise somebody's going to get hurt," he said.

The Tour de Rock ride is expected to make it to Victoria at the end of their 1,200-kilometre ride on Oct. 7. Top Stories


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