Houston RCMP Constable Harry Dhaliwall and community riders Sue Jones and Cindy Sullivan are in training for this year’s Cops for Cancer tour which begins in Dawson Creek and ends in Williams Lake this fall. (Contributed photo)

Houston RCMP Constable Harry Dhaliwall and community riders Sue Jones and Cindy Sullivan are in training for this year’s Cops for Cancer tour which begins in Dawson Creek and ends in Williams Lake this fall. (Contributed photo)

Three locals training for 2022 Tour de North

Fundraisers planned for July 7

It may be only June, but three cyclists from Houston are well into training for this September’s Cops for Cancer bike tour.

Constable Harry Dhaliwal of the Houston RCMP detachment and community riders Sue Jones and Cindy Sullivan make up the local contingent among the 21 riders who will be taking part in the Sept. 14 to Sept. 20 journey from Dawson Creek south to Williams Lake, a distance of 850 kilometres.

Dhaliwal and Jones have participated before in Cops for Cancer although the COVID era prevented the complete road tour experience in 2020.

But the tour returned in full last year with the cycling team riding from Prince George to Prince Rupert.

And this year Dhaliwall is not only cycling, but he’s taken on the job of tour chair, not an easy task give that he has to connect with riders spread out across the north from Prince Rupert through to the northeast.

“It’s certainly an experience,” said Dhaliwall of keeping in touch with team members.

He’s already been to Prince George for some training rides and to meet other cyclists.

Dhaliwal also brings extensive recreational cycling experience to the tour as well as being a participant in other cycling tours, also to raise money to fight cancer, from Cloverdale to Seattle prior to arriving in Houston.

“I like a good physical challenge,” said Dhaliwal of long distance cycling.

And there’s the added satisfaction of cycling with a team combined with the purpose for the Tour de North in the first place.

“There’s the good feeling for the fund raising. It’s heart warming know that what we’re doing to fight cancer will help people who might not otherwise be alive,” said Dhaliwal.

He’s lost friends and family to cancer and says cycling is doing his part.

“What others are doing is the hard part. Cycling is about the easiest thing I can so,” Dhaliwal said.

Sue Jones is a returning community rider from 2018 who also took part in the COVID-affected cycling of 2020.

“My training regime is following the suggested format designed for riders. At least four rides a week and currently riding about 100 kilometres a week,” she said.

“This will steadily increase with required targets such as an 80 kilometre ride by mid-June and a 120 kilometre ride by August 1 and a 140 kilometre ride by September 1.”

Jones does not have her own road bike but thanks to tour sponsors has the use of a practically new Cannondale model she describes as a “sexy fluorescent red”.

She’s thankful for Constable Anne Bock who is from the Quesnel RCMP detachment and as the team’s lead rider, is offering support and training suggestions.

The third member of the Houston contingent is Cindy Sullivan who has been a workout companion with Jones for years. Their further bond is having lost close family members to cancer.

“It’s wonderful to have a dear friend to challenge each other to keep going and to get strong. It’s going to be Cindy’s first tour and she’s already riding strong and learning great road bike techniques,” said Jones.

Sullivan says she’s taking part this year as she has always been interested in the Tour.

“Cancer is no stranger to my family. It’s taken some, I’m thankful for the ones who have survived, and recently had my own go round with it. It will be an honour to raise money and ride for the kids,” she said.

Sullivan is not a regular cyclist but does enjoy the sport and, like the others, has been increasing the frequency and length of her training outings.

“I am training to do this tour simply to help the children and their families so they don’t have to go through cancer alone. The monies raised by Cops for Cancer goes to having the families together whether it be for travel to and from hospitals for treatment, or helping to send them to Camp Good Times,” she said.

Sullivan adds she is not worried about the ride itself but more about what the weather could bring in September.

She has an identical bike to the one being used by Jones. Dhaliwal recently purchased a C5 Cervelo.

Cycling on the Tour de North requires cyclists to raise money and early events in Houston include a BBQ fundraiser Friday, July 8 at the Four Rivers Co-op station from 10:30 a.m. till 2 p.m.