Whenever the team rolls up to a school or a community event, the Tour de Rock jingle is played over the speakers atop the Dodge Magnum we trail.
Tour de Rock; It’s all about the children.
Tour de Rock; We’re doing our part.
Tour de Rock; Come on Vancouver Island.
A thousand-kilometre tour; Together we’ll roll for a cure.
It’s been stuck in each rider’s mind (and each past rider’s mind) since the first day of Tour. I sing it loud each and every time the song plays – sometimes even when it’s not playing, but today the song and the 2012 team hit a really big mark. We finally achieved one half of the last line: “A thousand-kilometre Tour.” Tour is, in fact, some 1,050 kilometres of riding, but we hit the 1,000 kilometre mark this afternoon as we rode along McDonald Park Road in Sidney.
There was little fanfare as it happened; I looked down at my bike odometer that has been tracking our pedal strokes since Port Alice and counted down the metres until the tracker switched over to 1,000 kms. I announced it to the team, we cheered briefly, and we just kept riding. And it’s not because the moment wasn’t meaningful for us, it’s because we know the ride’s not over and the fight’s not over.
Today was a pretty remarkable day for the team. We began the day at St. Michaels University School, where fellow media rider Erin Glazier gave by far the best head shave we’ve seen to date on tour. She left Mr. Primrose there with what looked like hair wings.
We hit up Oak Bay High a little while later, which was really overwhelming. We entered the gym with some dancing, and the electric atmosphere didn’t die down. There were head shaves, toque presentations and an unbelievable cheque presentation, where the students and staff at Oak Bay High presented us with $46,117! It was incredible.
It’s moments like those that, as a rider, you will never forget. To see how involved and passionate the kids there are is so very impressive. Tour, like I’ve said before, is about more than just the riders, and the actions of the students at schools like Oak Bay High are indicative of that. They understand that their contributions to the cause will benefit children, many who are younger than them, who are battling cancer. They understand the spirit of community that Tour de Rock represents, and it’s an honour to be a rider to be involved in a moment so meaningful. The kids at Oak Bay, St. Mikes, Stelly’s, Lambrick Park, Kelset – all schools we stopped at today – all understand what their contributions to this cause means. It gives me great optimism for our future, not only as we see budding philanthropists in our midst, but optimism to beat out cancer. As the last line of the Tour de Rock jingle goes: “Together we will, one day, roll for that cure.”