Mason, 4, eats a cookie with his mom, acting sergeant Sarah Swallow of the Delta Police department, at the Cedarbrook Bakery on 200 Street. Mason was waiting to greet his mom and the other riders on the 2015 Tour de Valley Team of Cops for Cancer as they rolled through Langley on Tuesday afternoon. The cyclists rode 800 kilometres between Sept. 24 and Oct. 2.

From baking to biking – local Mountie rides for cancer cure

Langley’s Mark Peterse joined his policing colleagues in 800-km Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley ride

He has been baking his way into the hearts and stomachs of Cops for Cancer riders and support staff for many years — fueling them with sandwiches and snacks from his Langley bakery.

Cedarbrook Bakery and Deli’s maple bacon doughnuts are said to be a rider favourite.

Const. Mark Peterse notes that not too many people can say they have been on both sides of the doughnut counter — as both a bakery owner and police officer.

He can add spandex to his list of uniforms, since he embarked on an 800-km bike ride for the 2015 Cops for Cancer — Tour de Valley which ended today (Oct. 2).

They rode through Langley on Day 6, Tuesday, Sept. 29 with a stop at Peterse’s bakery in the afternoon.

Peterse is riding in memory of Keian Blundell, a six-year-old Langley boy who died of cancer nearly two years ago. Keian’s name is written on Peterse bike as a constant memory of why he is riding.

Keian’s parents Chantal and Ryan, along with their youngest son, met with Peterse and the riders on Tuesday to wish them well and thank them for doing what they are doing.

Peterse is well acquainted with the preparation and training involved for the Tour, having trained to do the ride as an Auxiliary Constable with the Langley RCMP in 2013.

But a phone call from Depot in Regina one week before the ride changed his plans.

Fast forward two years and he is getting his chance to ride as a member of the Surrey RCMP.

Growing up, Peterse lost his best friend to cancer. Ever since, he has been committed to raising funds for cancer research and support programs.

Juggling the shift work of general duty policing, family life, and bike training isn’t always easy. He credits his fellow riders, support crew, colleagues, family and — most importantly — the kids undergoing cancer treatments, with helping him keep it all in perspective.

“When I am struggling with those early mornings or pushing up a big hill on the bike, I remember the kids undergoing chemo and radiation who don’t complain,” says Peterse.

“Seeing their bravery, their resilience – I know I can do this ride to support treatment and a week at Camp Goodtimes to allow them to be kids again.”

Peterse was joined by 20 other riders, including Langley officers, for the Tour de Valley which ran from Sept.  24 to Oct. 2.

In Langley, they stopped at six schools to speak with students.

“Mark and the team will visit over 40 schools and make almost 100 stops as ambassadors in the fight against cancer,” explained Allan Mugford, regional director for the Canadian Cancer Society Fraser Valley Region before the ride.

“The funds they raise go towards childhood cancer research and Camp Goodtimes, a place kids and families go to smile and connect with others facing the same struggles.”

— files from  Monique Tamminga

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