Tour de Rock riders will race Nanaimo Fire Rescue members operating a pump car in a race on Sept. 30. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Tour de Rock riders on bikes to race Nanaimo firefighters on old-fashioned pump car

Cops for Cancer fundraiser will happen Sept. 30 as annual fundraising ride getting underway

Nanaimo Fire Rescue and Tour de Rock riders are pumped to take part in a promotional Cops for Cancer race later this month.

The Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, raising money for the battle against childhood cancer, is set to embark across Vancouver Island from Sept. 21 to Oct. 4. The Island Corridor Foundation, a non-profit that owns the E&N train corridor, will hold a fundraising event on Sept. 29 outside the Coach and Horses pub and then on Sept. 30, Nanaimo firefighters will race Tour de Rock racers to Ladysmith on an old-style train pump car.

Larry Stevenson, foundation CEO, said Cops for Kids is an “amazing charity” and it is all about raising funds for youths affected by cancer. He hopes to raise a lot of money through the event and the pump car race is a friendly event.

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Simon Douthwaite, a Nanaimo guest rider whose daughter is a leukemia survivor, said there will be a lot of back-and-forth between the two sides.

“There’s going to be a lot of banter going on between the cops and the firefighters,” said Douthwaite. “I think we’ll already have done 500 [kilometres of training] by the time we get here, so really it’s just a walk in the park, it’s just a warm-up. These guys have got to do a short sprint to Ladysmith and good on them for showing up, but I don’t think they’ve got much chance.”

Jake Williams of Nanaimo Fire Rescue said he thinks the team of four pump track racers will be able to make it to Ladysmith, although only time will tell.

“We’re just trying to make it a little more interesting, a little competition here, see who can win,” said Williams.

The pump car race will take place Sept. 30 as part of the day’s journey for riders as they head to Ladysmith and then Chemainus. The ICF event on Sept. 29 will take place from noon to 5 p.m. and will be fun for the whole family, according to Stevenson.

“We’re going to have all kinds of things for the family to do,” Stevenson said. “There’s going to be bouncy castles, climbing walls, all that kind of stuff, all part and parcel of raising that money for kids. I’m getting my head shaved in an effort to raise money, so it’s going to be a great event.”

Tour de Rock is just about ready to roll.

Beginning this weekend, more than two dozen riders – mostly members of the RCMP – will begin a 1,100-kilometre bike ride across Vancouver Island as part of the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, an annual event that raises money for the Canadian Cancer Society.

The 24 tour riders will start their journey on Sept. 21 in Port Alice. Between Sept. 22-28 they will travel through and stop in Port Hardy, Woss, Sayward, Campbell River, the Comox Valley, Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Port Alberni and Ucluelet.

On Sept. 29, after a brief stop in Tofino, the riders will roll into Nanaimo, where they will remain until Sept. 30. The Tour de Rock will conclude on Oct. 4 in Victoria.

Money raised during the Tour de Rock will support the Canadian Cancer Society’s cancer research efforts and its programs, such as Camp Goodtimes, a summer camp in Maple Ridge for children with cancer and their families.

For more information on all the events, ride schedule and tour riders please visit https://www.tourderock.ca.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

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Cassie Loveless, Jake Williams, Stuart Richey and Simon Douthwaite travel down the track on a pump car Friday during a promo for an Island Corridor Foundation Cops for Kids fundraiser. Tour de Rock riders will race Nanaimo Fire Rescue members on a pump car on Sept. 30. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

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