Before this year, Morgan Nixon had never ridden a road bicycle.
Now the Corrections Canada primary worker, who calls Langley City home, is one of the members of this year’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley team, set to ride hundreds of kilometers in September to fight childhood cancer.
In a typical year, the Tour would include dozens of stops where the riders could high-five kids at elementary schools and meet donors to the Canadian Cancer Society.
This will not be a typical tour.
“It’s been quite an experience so far, and you add COVID on top of it…” Nixon said.
She signed up for the ride in January, months before the impact of the pandemic was known.
She expected to undertake a tough but rewarding challenge – train for a nine-day ride around the Fraser Valley, from Delta to Boston Bar, while raising at least $6,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.
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Another training ride success today to add to the #c4cridealong total. Not only did I ride 110km today I also got to meet one of families that benefit from the Cops for Cancer fundraising. We’re not just riding just for a good time, we’re riding to help beat childhood cancer. Want to help? Donate below! https://support.cancer.ca/site/TR/;jsessionid=00000000.app20110a?pg=personal&px=13365445&fr_id=27166&NONCE_TOKEN=ABA729156D6FC8E8ED34252656AC8B65 Thanks to @giantlangley @giantwhiterock @coast_capital for all their support as well! #CopsforCancer #tourdevalley #ForTheKids #c4cridealong
The Cops for Cancer bike rides raise funds for childhood cancers specifically, and for to aid the kids going through treatment, and their families.
The ride in late September will still pass through the Fraser Valley, but will be condensed to five days. The team may ride together, or may be split into two groups to meet distancing guidelines, based on Cycling B.C.’s rules in September.
“We’re hoping the whole team can still ride together.”
The team will be doing more ride-bys, and quick distanced visits on the tour itself, which runs from Sept. 21-25 this year.
Fundraising has also become more difficult.
READ MORE: Cops for Cancer hoping Tour still on
Nixon had been hoping to follow in the footsteps of several of her coworkers who have undertaken the ride in the past.
The typical plan for fundraising is to hold public events, from pub nights to crane sits in shopping mall parking lots.
Now most of those public activities are out thanks to COVID-19, and Nixon and her fellow riders are forced to blaze new trails, concentrating on family, co-workers, and online fundraising.
She’s posting “ridealong” videos and photos on her Facebook and Instagram pages, letting followers know how far she’s going on training rides.
Along with those, she posts the link to her fundraising page, where people can donate.
“We just did a training ride on Saturday, half of the team, and we did 105 km through Abbotsford,” Nixon said.
Asked if she’d consider riding again, Nixon said she would love to have the full Tour de Valley experience.
“I’d love to do it again, especially if everything was more open,” she said.
Even with the pandemic, she said it’s been great, being able to meet the families of children with cancer over Zoom and raising money for the cause.