National Kids Cancer Ride

NKCR Day 18 – Lower Sackville to Halifax (103k)

It was balmy outside this morning when we woke up in our bunkhouse for the last time. Riders and volunteers were all very excited about this last day of our coast-to-coast journey, particularly knowing the weather would be perfect. We had a surprise guest join us this morning…Jeff Rushton, the founder of the Coast-to-Coast Against Cancer Foundation. His passion for the organization and the cause is infectious and everyone was thrilled to have him with us for this final day. 

We were also joined by Dr. Bruce Crooks, a paediatric haematologist/oncologist at ICW Health Centre in Halifax who is a 3-time NKCR rider and who joined us for the ride today.

Our police escorts arrived in time to join us for our morning ride dedication. Today we will be riding for all of the kids we have ridden for these past 17 days, who are now part of the NCKR family. 

We rolled out behind a police cruiser with sirens blaring, stopping traffic as we made our way out of Lower Sackville and along the east side of St. Margarets Bay towards Peggy’s Cove. Another cruiser and a couple of motorcycles followed our peloton as we savoured the last ride of our cycling journey at a (relatively) leisurely pace, taking in the dramatic ocean views and the salty air. 

We stopped at Peggy’s Cove for a photo-op amid curious tourists and onlookers who marvelled at what we had accomplished. We received a number of donations from well wishers, before it was time to get back on the road. 

Our lunch stop was at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, a pediatric hospital and the largest facility in Atlantic Canada caring for patients under 20 years of age. We were met by IWK Foundation staff and welcomed by Dr. Crooks. Our fellow rider Stacey, who trained at IWK, also spoke to us. We were introduced to a young patient undergoing treatment for Leukemia and made him an honorary member of our NKCR team.

It was a short ride to Black Rock Beach at Point Pleasant Park where we were met by our volunteers, friends and relatives, including the niece of one of the volunteers dressed in traditional kilt playing the bagpipes as we made our way down to the water. We lined up with our bikes along the water’s edge and dipped our front wheels in the Atlantic Ocean to symbolize the completion of our coast-to-coast journey. We had each been carrying a stone from the beach at Whiterock in our jersey pocket and tossed it into the ocean. We celebrated on the beach with champagne, photos and hugs. 

We loaded into the vehicles and headed to the Delta Hotel in Dartmouth where we would be sleeping on real beds for the first time since leaving Vancouver. We had our last meal together in one of the hotel banquet rooms, with some speeches and a video/slide show of highlights of the past three weeks, before heading to downtown Halifax to enjoy some east coast musical entertainment on our last evening together.

Tomorrow we will all be going our separate ways, back to our families and loved ones, proud of our accomplishments and happy to take a break from our bicycles. 

The 2019 NKCR has raised over $500,000 so far that will be disbursed to fund paediatric oncology research across the country. I am very pleased and proud to have met my own fundraising goal of $100,000 and am grateful for all the support I have received from friends and family. This has been a highly rewarding personal experience and a chance for me to make a difference in the lives of many kids and their families by raising funds and awareness. 

If you haven’t yet had a chance to make a donation to help support children’s cancer research, here is the link to my web page:

Thanks again for your support!