HomeNewsCowichan Valley2023 Tour de Rock completes mock-ride on Saturday as training continues

2023 Tour de Rock completes mock-ride on Saturday as training continues

It was a busy weekend for this season’s Tour De Rock riders.

Monday was the last of a five-day biking blitz, highlighted by a ‘mock tour’ ride from Nanaimo to Duncan and back on Saturday. The mock ride was 131 kilometers long, and the longest of their training thusfar.

The Tour de Rock is a yearly two-week-long bike ride across Vancouver Island, raising funds to support the fight against childhood cancer. This year’s event runs from September 23 to October 6. They make stops in 27 communities along the way raising funds and awareness. This year’s team is made up of 19 riders who are first responders or members of the media.

The North Cowichan-Duncan detachment rider, Wes Richens says he is already feeling the support from the communities they visited.

“It was good, it gave us a chance to really feel what it was going to be like on tour,” says Richens. “Everyone was honking at us, waving at us, or cheering as they drive by.”

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Richens says the team made a brief stop at the Ladysmith Show and Shine, where the community quickly raised $1,100 for the cause.

The team trains on a schedule, Tuesdays are hill night, Thursdays are speed night, and Sundays are distance rides.

“The combination of speed and hill nights helps condition us,” says Richens. “With especially North Island there are lots of hills, so that’s where hill night comes important, and then the speed night is that endurance.”

Richens says that the brass at Tour de Rock have it worked out so that pretty much anyone can go from a beginner level to cycling the island in a few months with their training regime. The team trains at a pace of 25 km/h.

“I thought it was going to be [tough to maintain that pace], but just because they’ve got it dialled in so well – it’s their 26th year running the tour – as long as you buy into the training program and make an effort to be there all the time you don’t really notice it,” he says. “It’s amazing.”

Riders continue to fundraise for the cause, as they continue training. Many host fundraising events in their local communities to bump up their totals. With just over a month before the ride, the team has raised over $167,000.

All funds raised go towards the Canadian Cancer Society’s pediatric cancer research and Camp Goodtimes, which is a medically-supervised recreation experience for children and teens affected by cancer and their families.

If you’d like to contribute financially, you can do so at TourDeRock.ca.

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