Christian Meier has a day job - and a uniform - most cyclists would envy.
Meier races professionally all over the world, but is based in Girona, Spain, and now spends most of his year in Europe, riding his bike against the best in his sport.
He does so now as part of United Health Care Pro Cycling's expansion into the European peleton as a Pro Continental squad, but rode the previous two seasons for Garmin-Transitions.
When Meier returns to B.C. Superweek to race in the Tour de Delta, however, he will be wearing a different kit, one that means more personally than any team colours.
Instead of the blue-and-white of his United Health Care squad, when B.C. Superweek kicks off Friday Meier will wear a simple black and white jersey with the words "F--- Cancer" blaring boldly across his chest.
Like the "last chance" tattoo inside his left forearm, the jersey is a tribute to the brother he lost to brain cancer in 2009. It's also a commitment to raise awareness about prevention, particularly among young people.
"There just doesn't seem to be a huge push to cancer awareness and prevention, especially with the younger demographic, which is what F Cancer is trying to do," Meier said of his attempts to raise funds and attention. "Even just the name grabs the attention of younger people - and everyone else for that matter."
Meier started the initiative last year at B.C. Superweek and returns this year with another new plan to raise awareness. It's called "I am riding for _______" and involves a sticker on his bike with the name of someone affected by cancer.
In addition, Meier shares their story on his personal blog (http://bikingbros.com/), using them for inspiration when he races.
"We need to get the word out that over 90 per cent of cancers are curable if caught in stage one," Meier writes on the blog. "I will be keep you updated as things progress and stay tuned to the "I AM RIDING FOR" section to read the story of person who is inspiring me to pedal that much faster."
Meier said it has been mostly people he knows, but he is looking to open it up as he comes "home" for B.C. Superweek.
"It is usually people I know who have been affected but if people have a story they want to tell or experience they want to share, I'd ride for anyone whose had to deal with cancer," he said. "It's a huge battle for all of us and I know there a lot of great people out there I could ride for, and get inspiration from."
Meier rode with his brother Michael's name plastered on his bike at last week's Canadian National Championships, and his older sibling is never far from his thoughts. Michael woke up one day with a horrible headache and had surgery two days later to remove a brain tumor, but the cancer returned suddenly that summer, and he passed away while Christian was riding the Vuelta a Espana, forcing him to abandon his first Grand Tour with four stages left.
Meier is working to get back there with United Health Care.