Despite rain on day five, riders in the Tour de Rock 2022 remain in high spirits as people in communities along the route continue to touch their hearts.
Tour de Rock riders are on their sixth day of a 1,200-kilometre journey on Vancouver Island. The ride kicked off in Port Alice, and police and first responders are working their way down the Island to Victoria while raising money for childhood cancer research.
Not even a week into the journey, riders say they can feel the impacts of what they are doing in each community.
Steve Scott of Courtenay Fire Department says while riding, the spirit of community has stood out to him the most.
“Between Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Port Alice, the small communities, man those people just come together for us, for the event, for the kids, raising money, it was amazingly impactful,” said Scott.
“To sit and have a meal with the locals and just chat, it was amazing.”
The sentiments are echoed by Robin Campbell from the Comox Valley, who adds the support has been an inspiration.
“There’s been a few impactful moments. Probably the biggest for me was showing up in Campbell River at Boston Pizza not knowing that my family was going to be there,” said Campbell. “My inspiration, Amaya, was there, my junior honourary rider.
“I just feel like the luckiest gal in this whole community.”
The riders are supporting honourary riders during the journey, giving them even more meaning to ride.
“My local honourary rider, her name is Aliana, and I’m riding for her and she’s been one tough cookie,” said Scott. “I know that she’s been battling cancer for quite a long time, she’s done very very well over the last couple of years in her remission.
“Kids are very resilient and it’s awesome to see.”
Riders are continuing on to Qualicum Beach and Parksville before heading to Port Alberni and the West Coast.
The tour wraps up on Oct. 7 in Esquimalt with more head shaves and fundraising to come.