With one of the largest north Island teams ever, two Oceanside RCMP constables are tackling the huge Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock this summer to raise funds for children with cancer.
Both riders, Jordan Reid and George Minshull, have had a lot of personal experience with cancer, as many people have they point out, but mostly they are doing it for the children.
Reid’s mother successfully fought cancer when he was young, and is now doing well. Unfortunately Minshull’s mother didn’t fare so well, losing her battle with the disease.
Aside from their personal experiences, Reid said he wanted to take part in the ride, “because it just seemed like the right thing to do.”
He said it struck him when he was in the hospital with his mother and saw a huge wall marking donations and he realized how much the system “depends on the hard work of so many good people.”
Minshull said, along with riding in the collective memory of several family members who have battled cancer, “ultimately it’s for the kids, I can’t imagine having to deal with something like that,” he said, thinking of his own five-year-old.
Both constables have a strong connection to the Oceanside area, with Minshull still here on his first posting after seven years and Reid hailing originally from the area.
“I was pretty much born wanting to be a police officer,” Reid said, explaining he moved around the province growing up with an RCMP father.
Though the 1,100 km ride down the Island doesn’t start until September 20, the pair are already well into the intense training schedule.
A larger version of the team had already been training hard for two and half months before the final team was announced in Victoria in early May and these days they are doing three hard days of team training a week.
“I think the trainers like to see us suffer,” Minshull said, describing their schedule of long rides Sunday, hill work Tuesdays and speed rides Thursdays.
For the actual tour they will do day after day of 100-plus km days, while also stopping in each town for fundraising events and to recognize local contributions.
All of the money raised goes to pediatric research and support, including Camp Goodtimes in Maple Ridge, which provides children with cancer a normal summer camp experience.
The Tour de Rock (sponsored by Black Press) team of 24 riders includes 11 from the north island and is mostly comprised of law enforcement, with three media riders and special guest rider Dean Norris-Jones, the vice principal of Reynolds Secondary in Victoria which raised more than $100,000 for the ride last year alone.
The local pair are busy working the phones and looking for donations and events to get involved in, like the table they will have at the June 15 Father’s Day Show and Shine in Qualicum Beach. Visit www.tourderock.ca for more information or reach the riders through the Oceanside RCMP detachment.
Tour de Rock Schedule:
Saturday September 20: Port Alice
Sunday September 21: Port Hardy and Port McNeill
Monday September 22: Woss and Sayward
Tuesday September 23: Campbell River
Wednesday September 24: Comox, Courtenay and Cumberland
Thursday September 25: Union Bay, Qualicum and Parksville
Friday September 26: Port Alberni
Saturday September 27: Tofino and Ucluelet
Sunday September 28: Nanaimo
Monday September 29: Ladysmith and Chemainus
Tuesday September 30: Lake Cowichan and Duncan
Wednesday October 1: Shawnigan Lake, Mill Bay, Sooke, Westshore
Thursday October 2: Oak Bay, Victoria and Sidney
Friday October 3: Esquimalt, Saanich, and Victoria
Friday October 3: Spirit Square Finale and Team Wrap-Up
Tour de Rock Team:
Tyson Richard – Port Hardy RCMP
Kyle Ushock – Campbell River RCMP
Matthew Pidgeon – CFB Comox
Andrea Folk – Comox RCMP
Colleen Henry – Comox RCMP
Chris Kippel – Comox RCMP
George Minshull – Oceanside RCMP
Jordan Reid – Oceanside RCMP
Ryan Blakey – Nanaimo RCMP
Carla Johnson – Island Radio
Elizabeth Avis – Cowichan RCMP
Steve Wright – Westshore RCMP
Adam Carruthers – CFB Esquimalt
Jordan Carrie – Oak Bay Police Department
Jack McClintock – Central Saanich PD
Katie DeRosa – Times Colonist
Chandler Grieve – CTV
Ryan Koropatniski – Victoria PD; Lori Lumley – Victoria PD; Jennifer Young – Victoria PD; Jason Bland – Saanich PD
Justin Whittaker – Saanich PD; Heather Hunter – Saanich PD;
Dean Norris-Jones — Special Guest/Reynolds Secondary School