In the early morning hours motorists can expect to see a solitary Dave Dickson feverishly hugging the thin, white line on his Giant road bike as he speeds down Highway 97 South to 150 Mile House to meet up with fellow cyclist RCMP Cpl. Brian Evans.
The two then make the return trip to Williams Lake before beginning their morning shifts. It’s part of their training for the 2011 Cops for Cancer Tour de North Sept. 9-15. Two other officers from the Williams Lake detachment, Cpl. Mike Hacker and Const. Ken Davies, are also participating in this year’s ride.
Dickson was the lone civilian chosen for the northern ride.
He’s no stranger to cranking it out on the pavement or the trail for that matter.
Dickson rides both mountain and road bikes and has bravely pedalled the approximately 300 highway kilometres to Kamloops last year with Thompson Rivers University. In addition, he has travelled considerable distances by bike on the Coast.
By mid week, Dickson estimates he will have put on 1,000 km in the course of the first two months training. Lucky for him, a Father’s Day gift of a cycle computer will help him track his miles and other statistics through the coming months.
Moving ahead, Dickson and his fellow riders will be increasingly consumed with racking up the distance both for the sake of their stamina and acclimatizing to their bikes.
After all, the longest leg of the journey on the tour from Fort St. John to Williams Lake is the 190-kilometre stretch between Mackenzie and Prince George.
The four Cops for Cancer tours that occur annually across the province involve more than 100 members of law enforcement and emergency services.
The donations that are raised are invested in life-saving childhood cancer research and caring support services including operation of the summer recreation program Camp Goodtimes.
To that end, the Wiliams Lake team has committed to raising $12,500 for the ride; Dickson’s goal is $5,000.
To reach that the team will host several barbecue fundraisers and a “jail and bail” over the next few months.
Dickson says he doesn’t need much motivation to get out for practice rides and knows how fundraising will benefit cancer victims and their families.
He’s no stranger to the pain and suffering of the disease he’s riding to help cure; his dad died of cancer at 68 and a good friend of his also recently passed away.
Dickson undoubtedly holds those special people close as he traverses the local roads with his teammates as they aim to make a difference in the lives of others.
“It’s going well,” Dickson says. “It’s fun and enjoyable and before we know it the ride will be over.”
To make a donation to any of the Cops for Cancer riders from Williams Lake visit www.copsforcancerbc.ca.