Co-founder tackles tandem Cycle of Life Tour

Victoria Hospice takes over organization of fourth annual group fundraising event

This year the Cycle of Life founder will tackle the 200 kilometre ride with a partner on a tandem bike to raise funds for Victoria Hospice. Submitted photo

This year the Cycle of Life founder will tackle the 200 kilometre ride with a partner on a tandem bike to raise funds for Victoria Hospice. Submitted photo

When ride co-founder Graham Robertson rolls out 200 kilometres for Cycle of Life this weekend, he hopes to be mid-pack with a riding partner.

The Oak Bay resident started the ride in 2011 as a solo effort when he rode from Anchorage, Alaska through the Yukon Territories and B.C. to Victoria raising awareness and support for the Victoria Hospice. By 2013 it was a huge group event raising funds for Island hospice programs. This year, as Victoria Hospice takes over the event, is the first he won’t volunteer as the tail end rider.

“Finding a volunteer to be the sweeper rider was always, it seemed like a luxury, so I always did it,” he said.

He plans to ride his own pace as fourth annual Cycle of Life Tour rolls along the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, through West Saanich, along the Cowichan Valley’s rural coastline, over the scenic country roads of Salt Spring Island and back to Victoria along the Saanich Peninsula. But Roberts will face one fun challenge – riding tandem with friend and volunteer Adrian Lister.

“We’re doing it on a tandem bike. That was his idea more than mine,” Robertson said with a chuckle.

“We’ve done lots of training on our own bikes, but just a small handful of rides on a tandem bike, it’s been pretty entertaining,” Robertson added. “At times we get the bike going pretty fast.”

For example the day they hit 68 km/h on a stretch of Interurban Road. “On my normal bike through that area I can get up to 35 maybe 40 km/h,” he said. “It’s a pretty fun sensation to be going that fast.”

The Cycle of Life Tour was co-founded by Robertson and Beth Turner who organized and operated the event in their spare time until this year when it was adopted by Victoria Hospice.

“It’s been quite a relief to have someone take it on,” Robertson said. “I didn’t want to see it just fizzle out because there was nobody to do it. It was great to have Victoria Hospice want to step in and keep it going.”

When it started, Robertson didn’t have a personal hospice story, it was just the “universe pulling” him in that direction.

“I didn’t even know what hospice was before I started fundraising for it,” Robertson said. “Ever since then I’ve had stories. People have told me their stories since I don’t have any of my own. The more I hear the more happy I am supporting them.”

Victoria Hospice says the project would not be possible without a crew of dedicated, amazing volunteers and a select group of very generous, compassionate sponsors and suppliers.

“We wouldn’t even get to the start line without amazing volunteers they are vital to this. they’re a really small corps,” agreed Robertson. “It means a lot of work, and a major commitment.”

To date, the Cycle of Life Tour has raised more than $230,000 for hospice care across Canada with the majority of funding distributed to hospice care on Vancouver Island.

Visit for more on how to support the riders and cause.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay High Grade 10 students Oliver Wakely and Alex Joiner with the new scoreboard to soon be installed on the grass turf. Fundraising from the Oak Bay Barbarians rugby alumni and Oak Bay Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay High alumni buy new scoreboard

Scoreboard to be installed on grass field

Steve Smith’s image of two sibling adolescent grizzly bears playfighting in the Chilko River in the B.C. Interior earned him best of show at the prestigious Lion’s Gate Celebration of Nature club competition for 2020-21. (Photo by Steve Smith)
Victoria Camera Club captures top spot in prestigious nature and wildlife competition

Saanich Peninsula photographers part of award-winning team

Downtown Victoria and the Inner Harbour are part of a corridor that also includes much of urban Saanich that is part of the Greater Victoria 2030 District, a sustainable buildings climate initiative announced recently. (Black Press Media file photo)
Ramping up energy efficiency in Greater Victoria buildings goal of new group

Greater Victoria 2030 District part of North American network of cities working to reduce emissions

Victoria Hospice staff Brianne Ohl, left, Angela Chalmers, right, and Sandi Ogloff, at back, show off their buttons that show a picture of them smiling. Staff has worked hard to maintain the connections with patients despite the barriers of PPE and rigid COVID-19 protocols. (Victoria Hospice Photo)
Hospice provides compassion in a time of COVID

Victoria Hospice 40th anniversary on pause during pandemic

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Most Read