Cassie Loveless has lived in Ladysmith for 43 years. She grew up here, raised her children here, and now she’s riding for Ladysmith in Tour de Rock 2019.
Loveless works as a paramedic for the B.C. Ambulance Service. For the past two years she has worked as a support paramedic for Tour de Rock. After being involved in a support role, Loveless decided she would apply to be a rider.
“I applied and I successfully made the team, and here I am,” Loveless said. “That was in January that I applied, and started training in February. The team started training together in March — we’ve been three days a week since April.”
Tour de Rock is a two week, 1,000km bike ride that covers all rideable territory on Vancouver Island. Riders start at Port Alice and ride south to Victoria, stopping in every Island community along the way. The scale of the ride requires riders to train extensively in advance of the event. Loveless works full time, and commutes as far as Campbell River for training events. While Loveless is an avid runner, she’s never participated in cycle touring before.
“Learning to ride the bike has been interesting. You actually have your feet clipped in to the pedals, and the first day I did that I did it behind the Frank Jameson Community Centre and I rode around in circles, fell multiple times, but I learned,” Loveless said.
Tour de Rock raises funds for children battling cancer. Since 1998, Tour de Rock has raised $25 million for pediatric cancer research. Funds also go toward sending children and families to Camp Goodtimes, a summer camp designed for children with cancer to participate in outdoor recreation and activities to experience life beyond cancer.
On August 17, Tour de Rock will be coming through Ladysmith on a mock tour ride. They will be visiting the Ladysmith Show n’ Shine before continuing to Duncan. The team will be back in Ladysmith August 18 for a Zoomba dance event at Transfer beach. They will also be hosting a beer and burger at Mount Brenton Golf Club in Chemainus on August 23. The final event before the Tour starts is a Ladysmith Ladies night on September 13 at the Eagles Hall.
Tour de Rock begins Saturday, September 21. For more information on Tour de Rock and related events visit tourderock.ca or visit Tour de Rock Ladysmith on Facebook.