The Tour de Rock Family is deeply saddened by the loss of Mike Lawless, a loved member of our community. Tour supporters including more than 340 alumni riders, our Junior Rider Team for whom he fought tirelessly, and the 27 Vancouver Island communities he visited year after year, fell the significant loss of a great man.
Mike Lawless, a member of the Saanich Police Department rode the Tour de Rock in 2004 and subsequently became an integral part of the support crew each year until his diagnosis of lung cancer in 2013.
“Mike had a significant impact on the schools and on our Junior team in particular,” says Debi Dempsey of the Canadian Cancer Society. “Mike would go in ahead of the Tour’s arrival and get the communities and schools pumped up and ready to meet the team. 2013 was the first year that he was not able to be part of the Tour; and he was greatly missed. First thing asked by all the communities, schools and supporters was “Where’s Mike?”
“Mike has truly left a legacy that no one will forget; he will forever live on in our hearts.”
In honour of Mike’s battle with cancer, the 2013 and 2014 Tour teams wore his badge number No.25 on their helmets and bikes. The teams also held a special group gathering at the base of the Hump before Port Alberni; this was Mike’s traditional spot where he brought inspirational words to the team before the ascent. Every year, he reminded the team that the long, hard climb up the hill was nothing compared to what a child living with cancer a child has to go through,
Past Chairperson Ron Gaudet shared these words “I just learned earlier this morning of Mike’s passing…my heart goes out to his wife and young family…his tremendous contribution and passion for Tour de Rock will forever be etched in my mind. His energy and enthusiasm speaks volumes for a cause that he so much fought for. What a loss to our community at large!! Life ain’t fair sometimes..”