Welcomed by Tzinquaw dancing, drumming and singing, cheerleaders waving pompons, Dragon Diva paddlers raising oars in salute and the applause of a big crowd, the 2014 Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock rode into the parking lot at Beverly Corners Tuesday afternoon.
With emcee Harold Wallace keeping everything running smoothly, events had been happening all afternoon at the site, featuring zumba dancing, a hot dog and 50/50 ticket sale and the now-traditional headshaves.
But everyone was waiting for that special moment when the motorcycles with the flashing lights led in the long line of bikeriding participants.
They all seemed fresh and raring to do even though they had already ridden from Chemainus up over Hill 60 to Lake Cowichan since the morning.
Their day began with breakfast and a school visit in Chemainus before heading out onto the Trans-Canada Highway and then westward to the Tour’s usual lunch stop in Lake Cowichan.
Then it was back to Duncan for another group of school visits before arriving at Beverly Corners at 2:30 p.m. to a Warmland welcome.
There, they enjoyed a special performance by the young Tzinquaw Dancers and singers, accompanied by adult singers and drummers and then were officially welcomed by Duncan town crier Ben Buss and North Cowichan Mayor Jon Lefebure.
A hard rain shower couldn’t disrupt a presentation of Cowichan tuques, personalized with the name of each rider.
Finally, donations and presentations were made.
The riders ended the day with a Red Serge dinner at Mr. Mikes.
The next morning, following a breakfast in Duncan, they were off southwards to visit two more schools and Mill Bay Centre before bidding farewell to the Cowichan Valley for 2014.