Vicki Cobby has seen a lot of ups and downs over the last few months – namely the hills of Panorama Ridge and 176 Street in South Surrey.
Over, and over.
She’s been at it three to four days a week, repeatedly pedalling uphill past the Tong Louie Family YMCA (by coincidence, her regular workout spot) to prepare for a 900-kilometre ride that’ll take place over nine days.
Cobby, a Sheriff Services records officer at the Surrey courthouse, is joining the 25-person Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley ride, which begins today (Sept. 26) in Langley and ends on Oct. 4 in Abbotsford.
“I’ve never done this before,” says the 44-year-old Surrey woman. “It’s all new to me.”
In fact, she only got her Cops for Cancer bike in April.
“My training wheels have just come off,” she says with a chuckle. “I’m far from a cyclist.”
Day one starts in Langley and Aldergrove, followed by a succession of long cycling days and nights spent in hotels, recreation centres, and school gyms.
(Cobby has an air mattress packed).
Over the nine days, the group of law enforcement and emergency services personnel will tour areas between Tsawwassen and Boston Bar, making ceremonial stops up to 10 times a day.
On Oct. 1, the cyclist will have lunch on her home turf at the Surrey courthouse.
Seeing other Tour de Valley groups stop at her workplace in previous years is where Cobby got the inspiration to do it in the first place.
Cobby is one of only two sheriffs on the tour – the other is from Chilliwack.
The objective of Tour de Valley (one of four Cops for Cancer rides in B.C.) is to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society – in particular, Camp Goodtimes, where 70-80 young cancer survivors enjoy a week of recreation each summer in the mountains north of Maple Ridge.
(The other Cops for Cancer rides are Tour de Coast in Greater Vancouver, the Tour de North, which runs from Dawson Creek to Williams Lake, and Tour de Rock, a 1,000-kilometre ride on Vancouver Island).
Cops for Cancer riders, who must each raise $5,000 in donations, also dedicate their rides to someone with cancer.
In Cobby’s case, it’s her husband’s friend Brennan Bar, whose name is on her bike.
The Langley man, approaching 50, was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer around Mother’s Day.
He’s “fighting hard,” Cobby says.
Cancer has never been far from Cobby. Both her mother and mother-in-law have suffered from breast cancer.
Cobby notes that her training has been a learning experience – and not just because of the physical effort.
She says riding in a group takes lots of concentration because bikes can be just inches apart, and the group must remain cohesive.
“It’s not a race,” she adds.
While Cobby is riding through the Fraser Valley, Cobby’s husband will be on a fishing trip.
“He’s got his holiday, and I’ve got mine.”
For more details about the Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley ride, visit http://bit.ly/12Ff1to