It was a dark and stormy morning.
No, really. I know it sounds clichÃ©, but it was...
As the Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley got ready on Day 4 in Hope Sunday riders were up before the sun and greeted by strong winds.
Strong, blow-you-off-the-road type wind hit us as we rode through town from the high school, where we spent the night, to breakfast. As we sat and ate, already in our gear and our bikes ready and waiting outside, the trees blew sideways, a nearby sign outside a business looked dangerously close to blowing over and the rain started to fall.
Sunday was the day for the big ride: Hope to Boston Bar and back, a leg-weary 140 kilometres.
However, as the sun came up, the winds began to die down. There was a little rain as we set out but that too soon passed and the sun came out.
Day 4 was more about cycling as we made our way through the canyon, making only a few stops at local businesses along the highway and the Spuzzum First Nation. It was an amazing and challenging ride through the canyon.
The rest of the Tour is all about visiting schools and businesses, spreading the word and thanking sponsors and those who have worked hard to raise funds for Cops for Cancer.
The visits, sometimes sandwiched between long bouts of bike riding, are fun and touching.
There were the several young students and teachers at Zion Lutheran Elementary who all shaved their heads to raise money in honour of a fellow student battling cancer. The youngster was unable to be at the school that day because he's in hospital for treatment but we were able to see and even talk to him via Skype on a laptop set up with the assembled students outside the school.
There are bake and book sales, people doing whatever they can to raise money for the cause.
For more information about Cops for Cancer, or to make a donation, visit www.copsforcancerbc.ca.
Delta Optimist reporter Jessica Kerr is the media rider with the 2011 Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley team. You can also follow the journey on her blog at www.mybigride.wordpress.com.