HANNA PETERSEN PHOTO                                1240 Coast AM’s Sandra Boyd (the North Island’s 2017 Tour De Rock rider) poses with Port Hardy RCMP Const. Ben Leah, the North Island’s 2018 Tour De Rock Rider, at a fundraiser outside of Save On Foods in Port Hardy.

HANNA PETERSEN PHOTO 1240 Coast AM’s Sandra Boyd (the North Island’s 2017 Tour De Rock rider) poses with Port Hardy RCMP Const. Ben Leah, the North Island’s 2018 Tour De Rock Rider, at a fundraiser outside of Save On Foods in Port Hardy.

Meet the North Island’s 2018 Tour De Rock rider!

Port Hardy RCMP Const. Ben Leah. will be riding for the North Island

The Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour De Rock — the two-week 1,000-kilometre bike ride that police officers and media complete to raise money to fight childhood cancer has chosen it’s 2018 North Island rider, Port Hardy RCMP Const. Ben Leah.

Leah has been living in Port Hardy since October 2016, and it was his very first post as an RCMP officer. He noted he has always been interested in being a Tour De Rock rider when he would volunteer down island, “and this might be the only opportunity to do it during my career — it’s a great cause that gives back to the kids and invests in their future.”

Leah started training for the ride back in March, with the trainers pushing them to complete 50-70 kilometres each time they go out, averaging 25 kilometres an hour.

“It’s been rather gruelling — we are doing lots of distance rides and speed rides to get more time in the saddle,” said Leah, who added he’s not too worried about any big hills on the ride. “I’m more worried about the long rides the 140 km rides.”

Leah will be fundraising at upcoming events like the Cops for Cancer golf tournament at the Seven Hills Golf and Country Club in July, which will also feature a silent auction and a delicious dinner, and he has a fundraising goal of 15,000 this year, “but I think we’re definitely going to surpass that.”

All told, Leah feels it’s a huge privilege to ride for Tour De Rock. “Not everyone gets to do it, only a certain few are selected to make the team for the island, so its a big honour.”