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

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

The City of Victoria hopes to improve its cultural spaces this year and it wants non-profits to help. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Grants up to $125,000 open to Victoria non-profit arts and cultural organizations

Victoria Cultural Infrastructure Grant applications close at the end of May

Sofia Watts, Charlotte Magill and Harriet Knight were among the KELSET Elementary School students releasing salmon fry into Reay Creek May 7. (Ian Bruce/Submitted)
Saanich Peninsula elementary students help restock, clean up local creeks

Salmon fry releases took place at Reay Creek and Tetayut Creek

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich health and safety manager named one of Canada’s top 40 women in safety

Canadian Occupational Safety magazine celebrates women leading safety sector in 2021

Pacific sand dollars are a local species which belong to the same group as sea urchins. While alive, they are covered entirely by thousands of densely packed, short and slender spikes. (Photo courtesy of Louise Page)
The peculiar life of a Pacific sand dollar

UVic biology professor Louise Page offers a glace into sand dollars’ world under the water

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read