Smithers RCMP Const. Jennifer McCreesh is preparing for a gruelling 900-km bike ride across northern B.C. to raise money for paediatric cancer research.
The demanding Cops for Cancer Tour de North begins Sept. 13 in Fort St. John and travels through Prince George south to Williams Lake. Riders will complete the trek on Sept. 19.
“It’s an amazing opportunity, not only to meet new people and try something different, but I also love to hear everyone’s stories about why they are riding and what motivates them,” McCreesh said.
This year’s Tour de North team is made up of 23 RCMP members, one BC Ambulance rider, two members of the community and one media representative.
For McCreesh, as with many of the other riders taking part, the Tour de North is a personal journey.
“I have lost a few family members to cancer and it was very humbling to see some of the strongest people I had ever known just waste away,” she said.
She is also riding in memory of good friend and previous tour teammate Greg Pichler.
This is McCreesh’s four consecutive year taking part in the ride. Because of her previous experience, she is also the Tour de North’s nutritional adviser.
In preparation, McCreesh has been pedalling between Smithers and Houston regularly as well as taking part in dryland training sessions.
Last week, McCreesh hosted a Jail n’ Bail fundraiser, bringing in more than $8,000. Twenty-six individuals were brought to jail over the six-hour fundraiser, almost double the number who had originally signed up to take part.
“Over the course of the day, people were wanting revenge on the people that put them in the cell,” McCreesh said. “There were a lot of people involved who I didn’t expect and everyone was a really good sport about it.”
One prisoner, Chris Hui, raised about $1,200 of that total.
The Jail n’ Bail event was also supported by Bulkley Valley Wholesale, Extra Foods, Safeway, McDonalds and the Canadian Cancer Society.
Money brought in during Tour de North also goes to help fund Camp Goodtimes, a summer camp for children suffering from cancer. The camp is staffed entirely by volunteers and doubles as a fully-functioning medical facility.
The Tour de North is one of four Cops for Cancer bike journeys going on across the province this month. The others are Tour de Coast – Greater Vancouver, Tour de Rock – Vancouver Island and Tour de Valley – Fraser Valley.
To contribute to the Tour de North on Const. McCreesh’s behalf, go to www.copsforcancerbc.ca and click on the “Support a Rider,” link.