MP trades four wheels for two

Cpl Sheldon Crawford

Cpl Sheldon Crawford shows Junior Tour de Rock Rider Matt Williams around HMCS Vancouver during a tour of CFB Esquimalt

Military Police Officer Cpl Sheldon Crawford will remove his beret and strap on a bike helmet for this year’s Tour de Rock.

Clipping into the pedals of a carbon fibre racing bike, the 25-year-old Central Saanich native will ride with a team of local police officers, media, and special guests on a 13-day, 927 kilometre bike ride down the length of Vancouver Island from Sept. 22 to Oct. 5.

The ride is in the name of the Canadian Cancer Society and Camp Good Times, a special summer camp at Loon Lake in Maple Ridge for kids with cancer.

“It’s an opportunity for them to forget the illness and surgeries and just be kids,” says Cpl Crawford. “These kids are the real heroes. They’re what this is all about.”

For Cpl Crawford, the opportunity to take part in the Tour de Rock is a childhood dream come true.

“Every year there would be mass head shavings and the team would ride by the school. It was such a big event,” he says. “I’m really honoured to be able to finally take part.”

In preparation for the rigours of the ride, the team undergoes a lengthy training process, working on distance, speed, and endurance. Much of the route is through hilly and mountainous terrain, so training can be pretty demanding.

“We rode up Mt. Washington, right from the lights on the highway, all the way to the top. I’d never done anything like that before,” says Cpl Crawford. “I figure if I can do that, I should be ready for anything.”

Every rider in the Tour de Rock is partnered with a Junior Rider that they represent for the duration of the trip. Cpl Crawford’s partner is 14-year-old Matt Williams who is currently battling cancer.

“He has to deal with some pretty heavy stuff, and he’s just a kid,” says Cpl Crawford. “This is really what the ride is about for me; helping out these kids.”

With his fundraising efforts underway, Cpl Crawford is about half-way to his goal of $12,000. Fundraising events for the Tour de Rock take place all over the Island, with hundreds of thousands of dollars being raised for the Canadian Cancer Society and Camp Good Times each year. Donation can be made at any of these events, or on the Tour de Rock website, at

Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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