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

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

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

Most Read