View Royal Mayor David Screech warmed up for the Ride to Conquer Cancer by participating in the Tour de Victoria in the early morning of Aug. 23.

Wild ride for cancer

Storm conditions reek havoc for Ride to Conquer Cancer

Other than some rain, the West Shore seemed to miss most of the storm conditions that walloped Vancouver and Washington State last weekend. But one West Shore resident managed to navigate the storm on a 200 kilometre bike ride from Vancouver to Seattle, Washington to raise money for the BC Cancer Foundation.

View Royal Mayor David Screech was one of almost 2,100 riders on the seventh annual Ride to Conquer Cancer, which took place Aug. 29 and 30. While the weather didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of participants, it did cause havoc for race organizers, resulting in a number of safety concerns and a portion of the ride being cancelled.

“It was eventful,” Screech said. “It was certainly crazier than previous ones.”

This was his fifth year participating in the ride, which has raised a grand total of more than $60 million for life-saving medical research. This year’s event alone raised $8.4 million.

“It’s always great to take part in,” he said, adding he always opts for the classic course.

Participants ride their bikesfrom Vancouver to Seattle, over the course of two days spanning more than 200 km. Participants were given the option to choose their route and were given the choice of the classic Vancouver to Seattle route or a 300 km extended version of that classic course. Riders were also given the option to turnaround at camp and cycle back to Vancouver instead of continuing to Seattle. There was also a 280 km extended version of this return loop.

But Mother Nature had other plans.

“There were trees coming down on the course and people were being blown off their bikes.” Screech said while he didn’t see anyone hit by branches, he did see a few narrowly missing riders and heard of others being struck.

By early afternoon, he said organizers halted riders at the lunch stop in Bellingham, Washington, and turned those who had passed back to the pit stop. They closed the course, rounded all of the riders up and bussed them to the Mount Vernon camp for the night.

Screech was impressed with how quickly organizers arranged for busses and transportation for all of the riders. While he admittedly didn’t stay at the camp overnight, “a wise decision this year,” he said his hotel room was a little more comfortable than the conditions he’d heard about.

Riders spent a rough night at the Skagit County Fairgrounds where wind was destroying tents. Organizers opened up barns, so riders could sleep in the stalls on the concrete floor.

Sunday, day two of the ride, didn’t go much better for organizers.

The storm had brought down a number of trees and power lines, causing many roads to be closed. Riders had to detour around obstacles and closures, making Sunday’s leg closer to a 130 km ride than the roughly 100 km it was supposed to be, “with quite a few more hills than usual,” he added.

“It was really impressive how well they responded,” Screech said. He said organizers must have been up all night to re-arrange the routes but “they did it.”

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Federal government actions hurt Sooke hatchery fundraising efforts

Funding denial comes on the heels of fishing closures

SD62 student places third in province-wide French competition

12-year-old Sasha Zandieh won third with a speech on poet Pablo Neruda

Jesse Roper learns to create fire in the wild, in Sacred Knowledge web series

Ragnarock Studios production shares primitive skills with Islanders

Island athlete goes from hoop dreams to icy track

Cyrus Gray hopes to punch his ticket to Olympics in bobsleigh

Oak Bay researcher’s Canadian English dictionary goes to print

How an unknown American hobbyist sparked a Canadian dictionary

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read