UK cyclist plans to travel Vancouver Island to raise funds for the BC Cancer Foundation

UK cyclist Ollie Blackmore will cycle around Vancouver Island starting on June 22, and passing through Sooke on his final leg.

On June 22

On June 22

On June 22, United Kingdom cyclist Ollie Blackmore will be leaving Sidney, B.C. for a 15-day solo cycle around Vancouver Island, in an attempt to raise $25,000 for the BC Cancer Foundation. He will be riding through Sooke on his final stretch to Victoria, and we can expect to see him flashing through our town on the tail end first weekend in July. He used to visit his grandparents in Victoria. “That’s where I got the taste for the island and fell in love with it,” wrote Blackmore in an email.

Blackmore will take the long way to Sooke on his way to Victoria. First, he will head up the coast to Nanaimo, then up to Port Hardy.  From here, he’ll venture into the most Northerly part of the island through to Quatsino and to Coal Harbour. The following days will see him ride through gruelling terrain to get to Tahsis, and then onwards to Comox Lake. He’ll skirt around the edge of Port Alberni heading down to Bamfield.  From there, through our lovely quarters of Port Renfrew and Sooke, finishing at the inner harbour in Victoria.

That’s 2,300 km through bear and cougar country. Alone.

“I will be totally unsupported,” wrote Blackmore. “I created this challenge myself. I’ll be riding it alone and camping each night.  I will pass through communities etc and will no doubt need to restock for some parts but I’ll be 80 per cent self-sufficient with tools, clothes and food camping wild much of the time.”

He will be armed with a cell phone and GPS tracker with an SOS button, though he hopes he won’t have to use that.

Regarding a concern for encountering wildlife, Blackmore countered fears with education.

“I have to say I have had quite a few nightmares about encountering bears and cougars and in some ways I would love to if it was a safe one!  However, I have done a lot of research into what to do, campsite management and so on so I’m pretty well prepared.  It adds that extra element to the challenge knowing I could be cycling close to bears or being watched by a cougar.  My bike has two eyes cut into the back to warn them off, along with some First Nations inspired illustrations of bears and cougars as a mark of respect.”

For this event he has collected quite an array of equipment to help him both when riding and camping in the wild. This includes things like one of the world’s smallest and lightest tents, the Nemo Gogo Elite, and even a bear bell to (hopefully) scare away the odd bear. However, perhaps the most important piece of equipment is the bike itself. With a bespoke design and built from British manufacturer Donhou bikes, his “gravel raver bike” as it’s known is a bike like no other that sports a custom paint job inspired by Canadian culture and history.

Blackmore will be doing this while carrying over 35 kg of extra weight up hills that reach gradients of nearly 40 per cent. In fact, on many occasions throughout the challenge he will be facing climbs of over 16,000 ft., something that the Tour De France only beats on one of its stages.

Currently, Blackmore is fundraising. “I’m still some way off getting to the $25,000 target in Canada.  I have a number of pledges so it’s around $4,000 at the moment,” he wrote. “My motivation is knowing the money will go to local BC Cancer Foundation causes on the Island and help those who really need it with care, support, medical assistance, research and so on.”

For more info about the challenge, visit cyclechallengecanada.com/, or on his Facebook fan page at facebook.com/cyclechallengecanada.

To contact Ollie, please email ollie.blackmore@gmail.com or call +44 (0) 7957 191 757.

 

Just Posted

(File photo)
Crime report: Crooks busy pilfering bikes throughout Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Thefts among 295 complaints Oceanside RCMP deal with in one-week period

The proposed running track upgrade at Ballenas Secondary is now on course. (PQB News file photo)
RDN: Parksville track upgrade project gains some traction

Staff recommends board approve $204,000 funding

The total earnings of Town of Qualicum Beach council and mayor amounted to $186,649 in 2020, including expenses. (Town of Qualicum Beach photo)
Nine Qualicum Beach town employees earned more than $100K in 2020

Mayor and council received earnings totalling $186,649

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read