The 2016 Tour de Rock cycling team cruises along Highway 19A in Parksville en route to a fundraiser at Thrifty Foods last September. The 20th annual Tour de Rock comes to the mid-Island Thursday, Sept. 28. — NEWS file photo

Parksville Qualicum Beach invited to meet Tour de Rock team

Four public events scheduled Sept. 28-Oct. 1

The 20th annual Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock is under way, and Parksville Qualicum Beach residents will have four local opportunities to meet the riders and support team while helping in the fight against pediatric cancer.

The tour kicked off Sunday morning, Sept. 24, when the 21-member team pedalled from the Port Alice Community Centre for a hilly, twisting ride to Port Hardy. After a short stay for hot dogs and head shaves, they pointed their bicycles south and resumed a ride scheduled to end Oct. 6 in Victoria.

Along the way, the team will make stops in 29 Vancouver Island communities.

The ride arrives here Thursday, Sept. 28, with the public getting four chances to meet and greet the team.

• Sept. 28: Riders arrive at 2:10 p.m. at Qualicum Glassford Square (660 Primrose St. in Qualicum Beach), to a yearly welcome by the Town Crier, followed by lunch at Bailey’s Café.

• Sept. 28: Riders arrive at 3:30 p.m. at Parksville’s Thrifty Foods, to wrap up a fundraising hot dog barbecue. The hot dog barbecue and donations will run at the store from noon to 3 p.m. Those who wish to stick around may meet the riders as they make a few remarks, share gifts and collect donations.

• Sept. 28: The Tour de Rock team will be introduced at the annual Beer &Burger fundraiser at Quality Inn Bayside in Parksville, starting at 6 p.m. A night of food, drink, head shaves, inspirational speeches and a silent auction, the event is co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Parksville. Tickets are $20, available at Quality Inn Bayside, the Parksville Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Centre, from Bonnie Wallis, CPA, or from any Parksville Rotary Club member.

• Oct. 1: The Tour de Rock team will join the public from 2-3 p.m. for a community lunch at Boston Pizza, 430 E. Island Hwy. The stop will follow the team’s ride to Port Alberni, Tofino and Ucluelet and return to the east side of the Island to resume its trek south.

In addition, the Tour de Rock riders will make two brief school visits the morning of Friday, Sept. 29, as they leave Parksville for Port Alberni.

In a change from the route used for the past several years, the riders will not leave Parksville via Highway 4 and roll through Coombs. Instead, the team will leave the Quality Inn Bayside Friday morning and return north on Highway 19A to make a 15-minute stop beginning at 9 a.m. at Arrowview Elementary School in Qualicum Beach, followed by a stop at Kwalikum Secondary School at 9:26 a.m.

The riders will then depart Qualicum Beach via Memorial Avenue and Highway 4A to begin the trip over “the Hump” to Port Alberni.

— NEWS Staff and Tour de Rock release

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