UK cyclist plans to travel Vancouver Island to raise funds for the BC Cancer Foundation

UK cyclist Ollie Blackmore will cycle around Vancouver Island starting on June 22, and passing through Sooke on his final leg.

On June 22

On June 22, United Kingdom cyclist Ollie Blackmore will be leaving Sidney, B.C. for a 15-day solo cycle around Vancouver Island, in an attempt to raise $25,000 for the BC Cancer Foundation. He will be riding through Sooke on his final stretch to Victoria, and we can expect to see him flashing through our town on the tail end first weekend in July. He used to visit his grandparents in Victoria. “That’s where I got the taste for the island and fell in love with it,” wrote Blackmore in an email.

Blackmore will take the long way to Sooke on his way to Victoria. First, he will head up the coast to Nanaimo, then up to Port Hardy.  From here, he’ll venture into the most Northerly part of the island through to Quatsino and to Coal Harbour. The following days will see him ride through gruelling terrain to get to Tahsis, and then onwards to Comox Lake. He’ll skirt around the edge of Port Alberni heading down to Bamfield.  From there, through our lovely quarters of Port Renfrew and Sooke, finishing at the inner harbour in Victoria.

That’s 2,300 km through bear and cougar country. Alone.

“I will be totally unsupported,” wrote Blackmore. “I created this challenge myself. I’ll be riding it alone and camping each night.  I will pass through communities etc and will no doubt need to restock for some parts but I’ll be 80 per cent self-sufficient with tools, clothes and food camping wild much of the time.”

He will be armed with a cell phone and GPS tracker with an SOS button, though he hopes he won’t have to use that.

Regarding a concern for encountering wildlife, Blackmore countered fears with education.

“I have to say I have had quite a few nightmares about encountering bears and cougars and in some ways I would love to if it was a safe one!  However, I have done a lot of research into what to do, campsite management and so on so I’m pretty well prepared.  It adds that extra element to the challenge knowing I could be cycling close to bears or being watched by a cougar.  My bike has two eyes cut into the back to warn them off, along with some First Nations inspired illustrations of bears and cougars as a mark of respect.”

For this event he has collected quite an array of equipment to help him both when riding and camping in the wild. This includes things like one of the world’s smallest and lightest tents, the Nemo Gogo Elite, and even a bear bell to (hopefully) scare away the odd bear. However, perhaps the most important piece of equipment is the bike itself. With a bespoke design and built from British manufacturer Donhou bikes, his “gravel raver bike” as it’s known is a bike like no other that sports a custom paint job inspired by Canadian culture and history.

Blackmore will be doing this while carrying over 35 kg of extra weight up hills that reach gradients of nearly 40 per cent. In fact, on many occasions throughout the challenge he will be facing climbs of over 16,000 ft., something that the Tour De France only beats on one of its stages.

Currently, Blackmore is fundraising. “I’m still some way off getting to the $25,000 target in Canada.  I have a number of pledges so it’s around $4,000 at the moment,” he wrote. “My motivation is knowing the money will go to local BC Cancer Foundation causes on the Island and help those who really need it with care, support, medical assistance, research and so on.”

For more info about the challenge, visit cyclechallengecanada.com/, or on his Facebook fan page at facebook.com/cyclechallengecanada.

To contact Ollie, please email ollie.blackmore@gmail.com or call +44 (0) 7957 191 757.

 

Just Posted

Victoria airport workers rally on Tuesday

Food service workers call for improved working conditions

BC Nurses Union calls for decriminalization of opioids

BCNU president wants the federal government to do more to reduce preventable deaths

Saanich grants public hearing to senior housing proposal

Five-storey rental apartment would add 39 units near Cuthbert Holmes Park

Province delivers notice of unauthorized occupation to Saanich tent city Camp Namegans

A Ministry of Transportation liaison to Camp Namegans delivered a “notice of… Continue reading

Affordable housing idea dead for Central Park, idea shifts to Royal Athletic Park lot

Underground parking with housing units above to be considered for existing lot

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

One year later: Still no suspects in killing of 13-year-old B.C. girl

Marrisa Shen was killed in Burnaby’s Central Park on July 18, 2017

Cougar shot by police in Nanaimo

Shooting occurred in water at Nanaimo Yacht Club at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday

BC Games opening ceremonies promise to be magical

Features Shane Koyczan and his band, Asani, parade of athletes, and lots more

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors send DeMar DeRozan to Spurs in colossal NBA trade

Toronto also sent Jakob Poeltl and 2019 first-round pick, gets Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

More lightning forecast as storm sparks 38 new wildfires in B.C.

22 new fires in are burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre according to the BC Wildfire Service.

New signs will memorialize Saanich’s Shelbourne Street

Memorial Avenue Committee plans call for Sept. 29 dedication ceremony

Banff’s bathroom bears returned to the park after 15 months of rehab in Ontario

Black bears, now yearlings, were sent to the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Ontario last April

Most Read