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Tour de Rock riders conquer Malahat, meet supporters in Sooke and West Shore

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The Tour de Rock team made it into the Capital Regional District on Wednesday, marking day 12 of the team's 14-day ride.

The riders made a difficult climb over the Malahat highway and made stops in the West Shore and Sooke.

"The ride has been a good series of ups and down, absolutely," said rider and Saanich police officer Karen Robinson.

"A lot of highlights, really tough grind, a lot of steep hills, it's been really good though," she said.

The tour wouldn't be in its 25th year and the riders wouldn't have made it this far into their two-week journey if it wasn't for the support of the community.

"No words for it. Every school we go into, every community we go into, I'm blown away with the generosity," said rider and VicPD officer Chris Van Swieten.

That generosity often comes in the form of donations, with community members helping raise more than $600,000 for the tour this year.

The funds go towards cancer research and sending kids to Camp Good Times.

The Bottle Depot in Greater Victoria helped contribute to those donations, raising roughly $19,000 through its charity of the month program.

"Really it is the local community that is raising those funds, making those donations," said Mathew Martin, general manager of the Bottle Depot.

"Without their support we certainly couldn't have raised all this money," he said.

For the riders on the road, the moral support means just as much as the donations.

"Everyone out there, thank you for your patience on the road," said Robinson. "Those honks and waves are amazing and keep us going."

For families that have had to face cancer, the tour also brings them support.

"It's very important to support them when they are doing something so amazing for other kids, kind of like me, that went through something I went through," said cancer survivor Lily Lecianana. 

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