Cyclists on the Boomer’s Legacy B.C. Bike Ride wheeled into Ladysmith Sunday

Boomer Riders stop in Ladysmith

A flying squadron of more than 100 cyclists wheeled into Ladysmith Sunday, June 12, en route from Comox to Victoria

A flying squadron of more than 100 cyclists wheeled  into Ladysmith Sunday, June 12, en route from Comox to Victoria in the annual Boomer’s Legacy BC Bike Ride, stopping off at Tim Hortons for a 45 minute break before heading back out onto Highway 1.

In the pack was former CFB Comox base commander Jim Benninger, who said the ride commemorates the 158 soldiers who died in the Afghanistan conflict between 2001 and 2014.

“One of the reasons is to keep those members, who gave their lives for this country… to show some respect and to let them know that we are still thinking of them and their sacrifice,” he said during the Ladysmith stop.

The ride is named after the son of Maureen and Hans Eykelenboom, Andres “Boomer” Eykelenboom, who was killed in a suicide bomb attack near the Afghan border with Pakistan on August 11, 2006.

Boomer was just 23 years old, and had actually concluded his tour of duty and was getting ready to return to Canada at the end of a seven month deployment, but volunteered to go out with his medical unit because it was short two members.

“It was that day in 2006 that the Eykelenboom family formed a bond with the CAF that would impact the lives of thousands around the world, and most certainly, in Canada,” says a release about the two-day, 240 kilometre run from Boomer’s grave site in Comox to the Parliament Building in Victoria.

Since its inception the Boomer Legacy ride has raised over $1 million, money which helps “men and women in uniform make a positive difference in the lives of others.” The funds have been used for humanitarian projects in Afghanistan and at home in Canada.

“I knew the day after he was killed that I would start a foundation called Boomer’s Legacy,” Maureen explained, “so that soldiers on patrol could access funds for humanitarian projects in Afghanistan.”

Asked why he was on the ride, John Belanger, who was lined up with his team mates at the Ladysmith Tim Hortons during their break, said: “A lot of reasons, but definitely to help out the military guys when they go over, and they can assist the communities that they’re involved with.”

Jeannie Applin said for her the ride is a reminder of the international peacekeeping role the Canadian military has been best known for. She was riding “to say thank you to our military staff, that support Canada today.”

To Benninger the Boomer Legacy fund is representative of the positive role Canada’s military can play helping people in need. “This money goes a long, long way to help those people,” he said.

Ride Marshal Greg Merchant said the organizers would love to have more riders from Ladysmith and the Cowichan Valley on the team. You can contact Boomer Legacy BC ride co-chair Andrew Gower at for more information.

Just Posted

Caps fall to Clippers in Nanaimo on Friday night

Clippers’ tying and winning goals come in less than a minute

Cowichan school district approves women’s winter shelter

The Cowichan Valley School District’s board of education has approved in principle… Continue reading

North Cowichan is Canada’s hot spot on Wednesday

The Warmland lives up to its name

Ladysmith Secondary School improv still groovy after 20 years

Catch performances Nov. 15th, 16th, 17th and 22nd, 23rd and 24th

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Most Read