Local riders training for Cops for Cancer bicycle ride

They’ll be cycling from Houston to Hazelton

Three Houston RCMP officers and one community rider are taking part in this year’s northern B.C. Canadian Cancer Society’s Cops for Cancer bicycle tour.

Compared to previous years, in which riders cycled one long route over a series of days, this year’s version features shorter routes in a relay style along Highway 16, into the northeast and down into the Cariboo.

The tour covers three main routes — Prince Rupert to Prince George, Fort St John to Prince George, and Williams Lake to Prince George — with the shorter relay legs within each route.

Houston RCMP officers Hank Lee, Harold Dalliwal and Ryan Hobbs along with community rider Sue Jones are set to cycle the Houston to Hazelton leg along Hwy16 on Sept. 15, a distance of approximately 150 kilometres.

The cyclists will do a “ride by” of schools along the way.

“It’s been super tough training this year with the highways being so gravelly and busy with pipeline traffic,” said Jones who, along with Hobbs, has taken part in previous Cops for Cancer rides.

“The rain has made ride schedules a challenge and now there’s a seal-coating project from 6 Mile Hill to Wakefield Road – our main training highway section,” she said last week.

The various relay legs are being held from Sept. 14 to Sept. 18.

‘This new model has team members riding from their home community to the following community, with a few riding multiple legs. We are actually covering all of our past routes, expanding the reach of the Cops for Cancer program, which raises money for pediatric cancer research and Camp Goodtimes,” said tour manager Aimee Cassie.

In all, 37 riders are scheduled to take part this year. Each relay group will be accompanied by support vehicles.

Childhood cancer is the number one cause of disease-related death in Canadian children under the age of 15 years, says the Canadian Cancer Society, and two out of three childhood cancer survivors suffer long-term side effects from their treatment.

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