Members of the Sears National Kids for Cancer ride arrive at Willowbrook Shopping Centre on  Wednesday morning, after dodging rush hour traffic. The relay riders will cross Canada to raise funds to combat childhood cancers.

Members of the Sears National Kids for Cancer ride arrive at Willowbrook Shopping Centre on Wednesday morning, after dodging rush hour traffic. The relay riders will cross Canada to raise funds to combat childhood cancers.

Cross-Canada relay stops here

The Langley leg of a cross-Canada cycling tour to raise money for children with cancer got off to a slow start Wednesday, but cyclists are now heading across the country, planning to arrive in Halifax on Sept. 22.

The Langley leg of a cross-Canada cycling tour to raise money for children with cancer got off to a slow start Wednesday.

The riders in the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride relay lost their police escort first thing in the morning, after the officers were called away to a reported armed robbery.

Then a wonky GPS system got them separated from their lead vehicle, a large C-class motor home that serves as an emergency repair station.

Without the big RV and police to clear their path, the riders had to make their way through morning rush hour traffic to their Langley destination by themselves.

Despite the problems, the cyclists were no more than 30 minutes behind schedule when they pulled into the Willowbrook Sears parking lot, to be greeted by local riders and Township Mayor Rick Green.

Two large semi-trailer trucks were also waiting for them.

They will serve as overnight accommodations for the more than 40 riders, who will sleep on spartan temporary bunks built of unpainted two-by-fours and plywood.

The ride is scheduled to end in Halifax 16 days later, on Sept. 22.

Riding in relays, each national team rider will cycle about 165 kilometres a day, visiting many of the pediatric cancer centres the event supports.

The event has raised more than $2.5 million over the last two years.

The annual ride is run by the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation, with sponsorship by Sears Canada and other businesses who cover administration and promotion expenses, to ensure that 100 per cent of the money raised goes directly to fund research and support programs for kids’ cancer.