Revamped Tour de Rock kicks off with a ride through the North Island

Port Hardy Fire Rescue escorted the 2021 North Island Tour de Rock team into Port Hardy on Monday afternoon. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)Port Hardy Fire Rescue escorted the 2021 North Island Tour de Rock team into Port Hardy on Monday afternoon. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Beckett and Weston Ireton stop for a photo with the riders in front of the Port Hardy sign. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)Beckett and Weston Ireton stop for a photo with the riders in front of the Port Hardy sign. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
A total of $8,500 was raised by Port Hardy this year for Cops for Cancer. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)A total of $8,500 was raised by Port Hardy this year for Cops for Cancer. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
The 2021 North Island Tour de Rock riders. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)The 2021 North Island Tour de Rock riders. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
The 2021 North Island Tour de Rock riders. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)The 2021 North Island Tour de Rock riders. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

Cops for Cancer’s annual Tour de Rock bike ride made a triumphant return to the North Island on Monday (Sept.20).

RELATED: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

A team of four alumni riders representing the North Island (Alli Roberts, Rob House, Brent Vose, and Dave Brown) enjoyed a hearty pancake breakfast in Port Alice before leaving the village a little after 10 a.m. with an astonishing total of $5,200 raised for children with cancer.

The team then made its way to Port Hardy, arriving around noon for a tour of a few local elementary schools, before driving/riding into Carrot Park a little before 2 p.m.

1240 Coast AM’s Sandra Boyd, a 2017 Tour de Rock alumni rider, was on hand to greet the riders and make a presentation before lunch.

Boyd introduced North Island junior riders Beckett and Weston Ireton, and then gifted a red Tour de Rock jersey to Weston and a blue Tour de Rock jersey to Beckett.

Weston was diagnosed with leukemia in 2018 when he was two-years-old, and he bravely fought it for 799 days and is now cancer-free.

RELATED: 799 Days: ‘Super’ Weston defeats cancer

Roberts then introduced the team and said a few words about this year’s ride.

“Once [you are] a Tour de Rock rider you become a lifer,” she said, noting that hopefully next year for the 25th anniversary of Tour de Rock, “we will see a full ride come through Port Hardy.”

The bike ride usually lasts for two weeks and makes 200 stops in more than 27 communities along the route to raise a battle cry across Vancouver Island for kids with cancer, but this year again has a slightly different format, with a 12-day alumni tour of community-based teams riding different legs of the trip.

After that, Beckett and Weston donated $1,312 they raised during a two-hour cookie sale out at Storey’s Beach, and then posed for a photo with the riders holding a big cheque for $8,500 that was raised in Port Hardy.

Tour de Rock will arrive in Port McNeill around 6 p.m. tonight for a Burger and Beer fundraiser at Gus’ Pub before staying overnight and then heading down Island to Woss and Sayward.

The ride continues Sept. 22 in Campbell River.

The annual Cops for Cancer bike ride raises funds in support of life-saving pediatric cancer research and support programs for children and their families with a history of cancer.

This year’s tour targets $650,0000, the amount raised last year, but about half the usual goal.

– with files from Black Press


@NIGazette
editor@northislandgazette.com

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