The last time CX Nicholas Bruce was on a bike was about six years ago. But when the opportunity to ride in the Cops for Cancer – Tour de Valley to raise money for pediatric cancer research came up, he jumped at it. That is how he ended up riding roughly 850 kilometers through British Columbia’s Fraser Valley on a bike from September 24 to October 2.
“I’m not going to lie,” he says. “A lot of parts hurt at the end of each day but it was totally worth it.”
Nicholas has been involved with the Canadian Cancer Society for many years, holding annual fundraising events with his local rugby team. Like many of us, he has watched friends and coworkers face cancer and wants to help in any way he can. He learned about Cops for Cancer through his work with the Society and wanted to be a part of it.
Each September, following months of arduous training, over 100 committed law enforcement and emergency services personnel spend up to two weeks cycling across the province of British Columbia. The money raised helps fund leading-edge cancer research, provide reliable and up-to-date information on cancer risk reduction and treatment, offer vital community-based support services for people living with cancer and their families, and advocate for healthy public policies.
Nicholas biked with a team of 20 people, including fellow CSC employee Aaron Billesberger, a Correctional Manager at Mountain Institution. Others included police officers, peace officers, provincial correctional officers, and firefighters. Together they raised over $300,000 for the cause. Nicholas raised $8,300 on his own by reaching out to local businesses and holding many fundraising events.
The ride itself was gruelling. They averaged about 100 kilometers a day, with one being close to 140. It would take them about four hours to travel that distance, at which point they would stop in at local schools to educate kids about their cause, and businesses to thank them for their sponsorships and support. At night they would rest at local community centers, gyms, and donated hotel rooms.
Despite the fact that his legs are still aching from the journey, Nicholas is already looking forward to next year’s ride. He hopes that more of his colleagues will join in on the fun. Hint hint.