Lori Lumley’s Tour de Rock experience has already surpassed expectations.
While there have been some long, emotionally and physically challenging days along the 1,200 kilometre bike ride down Vancouver Island, the Victoria police detective said she can’t believe the journey that began with training rides in February is almost over. With only three days left, the Central Saanich resident said she plans to enjoy each and every remaining day with the 23 teammates that have helped make this experience so special for her.
“We have gelled as a team … I think we have proven we have grown together, experienced the highs and the lows and we are really tight,” she said. “From here forward I think we can set aside the physical challenges and (focus on) meeting more people and spreading the awareness of why we are here. I am looking forward to meeting more kids and more families.”
The police officer of 26 years said those connections have already made a lasting impression, pointing to one from a mother and her five-year-old daughter going through chemotherapy who talked to the team about their first time at Camp Goodtimes, which much of the funds raised on the Cops for Cancer tour support.
“(Following) the gratitude they expressed to us, there wasn’t a dry eye on the team,” Lumley said. “They said ‘If I could have you walk away with any two words it was fun and freedom. Camp Goodtimes represented fun because you got to experience fun and the freedom to know you can go and not worry about medication and just feel like any other kid.’ That was a special time for us.”
Oak Bay police reserve Const. Jordan Carrie, who lost his grandmother and his wife’s grandmother to cancer, said he can’t quite put the experience into words and can hardly believe that the tour is already so close to being over.
“I don’t really want it to end I have to say. It’s hard to think in (days) it’s going to end,” he said. “It has been such an amazing journey so far. I just look forward to getting back and getting to some of the schools on the lower island and seeing my family.”
The former auxiliary officer for the West Shore RCMP, who first learned of the Tour de Rock while a student at Spectrum high school said getting back into schools as a rider instead of a student or an auxiliary member on traffic duty has been an unbelievable opportunity.
“It is like so much of the tour so far, words don’t do it justice. … With the schools, having them back and having those gyms, it’s the fuel that pushes you forward,” he said. “We have met the junior riders and their families and the stories are so moving and they push you to work harder. … You just want to keep raising more and more. It just pushes you to go harder and harder when you see them.”
School visits are also on the mind of Lumley, who said she had Oct. 2 marked on her calendar as soon as she found out the date the tour would be rolling into the Peninsula knowing her days as a police officer aren’t going to last forever.
“We have the privilege of going to Stelly’s high and I have four children and they all attend Stelly’s this year. They have been fundraising and they will be there the day we roll in so I am super excited about that,” she said. “I am just thrilled to know I am privileged enough to be part of the 2014 Tour de Rock team for the community where I was born and raised. It is a wonderful way to cap off my policing career.”