Campbell River man heads off to cross the nation on his bike in support of cancer research

Jacob Koomen has done many rides for cancer, but this one is quite another thing altogether

Campbell River’s own Jacob Koomen – along with a few locals who would join him on the first leg of his journey – left Spirit Square Friday morning after saying farewell to supporters and taking on a few last-minute cash donations from members of the community.

Koomen will be cycling across Canada – roughly 7,500 km – in support of the Canadian Cancer Society and their efforts in the battle against a disease that strikes far too often.

He’s riding under the banner of Ride2Survive, a one-day, 400-km ride from Kelowna to Delta that he has participated in for the past five years – a feat in itself for a man of 69 years of age.

This trip, however, will truly test his physical and mental resolve. He hopes to average 125 km per day on the nation-wide trek, through the horsefly-infested air of the prairies and the black flies and mosquitos of Ontario – and of course, battling the weather along the way. Koomen officially started his journey Friday morning after thanking the community for their support.

“I really appreciate the support that they have done so far for me. It has been incredible. I know they’re all behind me,” he said adding that he encourages the community to check in on his blog at as he will continue to update everyone on how his trip is going as he has been during his preparation. That’s also where people can donate.

Check out a quick video of Friday’s departure down at Spirit Square: