Sunny skies, enthusiastic crowds welcome riders

Tour de Rock riders blazed their way through Campbell River yesterday and this morning



CAMPBELL RIVER – No rest for the riders, but they did get good weather… eventually.

2011 Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock riders blazed their way through Campbell River yesterday and this morning.

After battling heavy rain and wind on their way to Sayward on Monday and then celebrating with a community potluck despite a major power outage, the riders got a break of blue skies on Tuesday as they powered their way to Campbell River.

Local rider Shawn Hall said the welcomes so far were huge.

“The communities that we roll into, and just the local citizens of each place we roll into, is just incredible what they do, they bend over backwards,” said Hall.

The 22 riders spent the afternoon meeting people in the community, including local students, then had a big rally at Campbell River Common.

After parading into the mall with Campbell River RCMP Const. Darby Klekta and her horse Tosca leading the way, the head shavings began. In total, 37 people sheared their locks for the cause, including seven-year-old Caydence Harris, five members of Campbell River Storm Junior Hockey Club, and Deputy Fire Chief Ian Baikie.

Including the Cops for Cancer Golf tournament in July, Campbell River raised about $68,000 in total this year, according to organizer Carol Chapman.

Hall said he hopes to raise $15,000 to $20,000 personally; right now he’s sitting at about $10,000, but the funds are still rolling in.

“Every penny counts and it’s been awesome so far,” said Hall.

The riders had burgers and beer with the community at Painter’s Lodge before turning in for the night. This morning, they donned their helmets once again and cruised out of town under bright sunny skies on their way to the Comox Valley.

Hall, however, said the weather and terrain don’t really matter to them in the bigger scheme of things.

“Everybody pulls together as a team,” explained Hall. “You just think about the kids, that’s what it’s all about. And you think about what they’re going through, and it’s 100 times worse than going up a hill with wind and rain sideways.”