Ocean to ocean ride funds MP charity

CPO2 Jamie Lone, Bob O’Blenis, Jack Panter, Richard Vandekamp, and Jim McEachern

CPO2 Jamie Lone, Bob O’Blenis, Jack Panter, Richard Vandekamp, and Jim McEachern dip their tires into the Pacific Ocean following the 2013 cross country Military Police Motorcycle Relay Ride.

After an 8,338 kilometres trek in the saddle, CPO2 Jamie Lone was relieved to see the Pacific Ocean.

The Fleet School Hull Standards Chief returned Sunday Aug. 25 from a 20-day cross-country charity ride that began in Halifax as part of the 5th Annual Military Police National Motorcycle Relay Ride.

Flanked by his team of three West Coast riders, CPO2 Lone backed his rear tire in the ocean at Macaulay Point for a salty dip.
It was the finale to a ride that began Aug. 6 with a dip in the Atlantic Ocean in Halifax.

“We wanted to give ourselves a physical goal,” he says. “Knowing the Pacific and home was waiting for us on the other side was a pretty great motivator.”

As part of the relay, around 125 riders from provinces across Canada joined a leg of the journey, but only four rode all the way across the country.

“We would meet provincial riders and they’d ride with us to the other side of their province,” says CPO2 Lone. “It was awesome to have that level of support from riders we’d never met before.”

Sleeping in bases and armouries, and eating in legions along the route, the four-member team met hundreds of supporters. Some drove home the reason they were on the ride.

“We met a visually impaired girl who had recently applied for funding through the Military Police Blind Fund,” he recalls. “She was such a smart, vibrant young girl and the kind of person we were helping with our ride.”

To ensure they made their 20 day time frame, riders were on the road up to 12 hours; for two consecutive days they covered more than 1,500 km to cross northern Ontario.

“That was a long one. Sitting for 12 hours straight never feels great,” he says. “Everyone was a little sore that day, but we agreed that it was worth it.”

The team donated a $35,000 cheque to Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority (APSEA) just before their ride began, but donations continued to roll in along the route.

“We were waiting at the ferry terminal to get back to the island and a little girl walked up with her piggy bank to give us a couple twoonies,” says CPO2 Lone. “We tried to tell her she should keep it, but she said ‘I want to help the kids’. That’s what it’s about.”

With the ride, and the breadth of Canada behind him, CPO2 Lone is already looking forward to next year.

“It was a very emotional and enlightening ride,” he says. “I’ll definitely be back again next year.”

From CPO2 Lone: On behalf of all the children of Canada whom we ride for, we wish to personally thank-you for believing in and supporting the Military Police National Motorcycle Relay Ride.  Together we will continue making a difference in their lives.  We salute you for your support and understanding while knowing: A person never stands as tall as when they kneel to help a child.

-Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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