News has Tour de Rock covered in Alberni

Dress rehearsal prepares riders for real deal in upcoming Tour de Rock.

The Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team will be on the road this Sunday, Aug. 14 for a “dress rehearsal” mock tour.

A fully escorted training ride with support crew, police cars and motorcycles, the entire 2011 team will pedal its way on the Island Highway from Nanaimo to Duncan and back.

Port Alberni rider, RCMP Const. Tom Gill, is eager to get on the road with the whole team.

“I’m glad to be getting closer to the actual ride,” he said.

Everybody is getting closer to their ability to do the ride. Time is running out—that’s the biggest thing we’re dealing with,” he said.

Mustering up at the Nanaimo North Town Centre on Rutherford Road, the team will take approximately two hours to reach their destination in Duncan.

They will stop for lunch and a meet and greet hosted by Serious Coffee at the Cowichan Commons Mall, then depart at 1:15 p.m. for the trip back to Nanaimo.

Training rides are becoming longer and more challenging as the team edges closer to the beginning of the tour, Gill said.

Three weeks ago team members rode nearly 20 kilometres uphill to Mount Washington Alpine Resort in the Comox Valley.

Next Sunday, Aug. 21 the team will do a long-distance ride, between 150 and 160 kilometres around the Saanich Peninsula.

Meanwhile, Gill has been busy with his fundraising. On Aug. 11 he had a coffee and tea event at Smitty’s. On Friday, Aug. 26 he will team up with the Best Western Barclay Hotel to trumpet the grand reopening of the beer and wine store.

Owner Peter Mugleston and his staff have organized several activities for the day, Gill said, including live music, a balloon pop or key sale and more.

Gill said he is on track with his fundraising, although some of the bigger donations won’t be known until just before the tour starts.

“The support people are showing is exponential,” he said. The special moments are already piling up. He has spent some time with his junior rider, Brett Wasylyniuk, who is undergoing treatment for a rare form of cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma.

“He’s pretty upbeat,” Gill said.

The 2011 Tour de Rock Team is comprised of police officers from CFB Esquimalt, Comox, Nanaimo, Campbell River, Oceanside, Port Alberni and Westshore RCMP detachments and Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay municipal police departments.  The team is complimented by three media riders from A News, Black Press and KOOL FM.

You can also find all the 2011 Tour de Rock team members on their facebook fan pages or make a donation to support them individually at www.copsforcancerbc.ca.

The Tour de Rock will stop in Port Alberni on Friday, Sept. 30. Watch the Alberni Valley News for upcoming information on activities.

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