Thirty-five cyclists and support staff from the Kids with Cancer Society gathered at the Alberta legislature grounds yesterday to finish the last leg of their eight-day bicycle tour.

Cyclists raised $230,000 for children’s cancer research in Northern Alberta in the seventh annual Tour of Hope. The eight-day tour stretches more than 1,000 kilometres across Alberta and is made up of 75 cyclists, each riding for a child who has cancer, who has fought cancer, or has lost their battle with the disease.

Mayor Stephen Mandel joined Le Tour of Hope for the last leg of the journey to show his support for the wheeled fundraiser.

In the last part of the tour, and much to the surprise of the riders, six Edmonton Police squad cars pulled up and formed an escort for the cyclists. Stopping at intersections along 100 Avenue downtown to stop traffic, officers waved the cyclists through, some of whom were police officers themselves, riding for children battling cancer.

Ending the day with awards, the Edmonton Journal’s Nick Lees, who helped organize the event, said he feels that the grueling eight days were worth the ride.

“When you’re grunting and sweating up hills and asking yourself ‘why am I doing this?’ Lees said. “When you come back and see the children’s faces, then you know exactly why.”

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