Why I ride: Erin Dopko Talks About the Cycle of Life Tour

The 2017 Cycle of Life Tour will take 80 riders on an unforgettable cycle touring experience through the beautiful Saanich Inlet, Cowichan Valley and Gulf Islands. Cyclists will pedal nearly 200km of smooth country road to raise critical funds for patients and families in need of compassionate end-of-life care.

Check back here to read more Why I Ride spotlights and learn about the riders participating this year.

Help Erin reach her goal by sponsoring her ride today!

What do you do outside of the Cycle of Life Tour?

I am a very busy mom of two young children (4 and 2), who's recently started in a new direction towards my dream of pursuing interior design and my creative side. I've started with Villamar Construction part-time while going to school to complete my diploma . I have a passion for floral design and occasionally help a local boutique floral shop with weddings during the summer months.

What brings you to the Cycle of Life Tour this year?

I've wanted to do a ride to support cancer for a few years now, for my dad while he was alive and as of late, in memory of him.  Each year I was either pregnant or had a small child that couldn't leave. Being on the Victoria Hospice facebook group, I saw that they did a local ride and knew this was the one for many reasons.  Both the ride and funds raised stay here on the island to support local Hospice.  This ride will also be close to my hearts as my dad was in the care of Victoria Hospice during his last days and my family is extremely grateful for the support provided. I think this is a wonderful way to give back each year in memory of him.

What does Hospice and Palliative care mean to you?

Hospice and Palliative care means that your loved one receives the utmost care and support to be comfortable during their final days. In knowing that, you the family, feel reassured in knowing they are in the best care and can take in those last precious moments with your loved one.  The services provided both for the patient and family are incredible both at that time and even extend further if grief counselling is needed afterwards.

What are you looking forward to about the ride this year?

Being that this is my first ride I don't know what to expect.  However, I am looking forward to having some time to clear my mind, reflect, and enjoy the island in a way I wouldn't normally see it.  I'm also looking forward to spending time with our team Haulin' for Hospice, my husband and our good friends,  as well as meeting the rest of the Cycle of Life team members... In addition, it will be my first night away from the kids ever, so a good nights sleep! Some people go to a hotel for the night to get a good nights sleep...I ride 200km for a cause haha!

How do you prepare for the ride?

I've always been a runner, so cycling is new to me as of this ride. I've done runs at night with Caitlin (team member and friend), since we've been waiting on our bikes. My husband and I turned our training ride into a date, stopping for a kid free lunch, and love the idea of Sunday rides together so much so that I bought a new road bike to continue!

Where do you find strength and support leading up to and during the ride? 

I find strength in of those in need of Hospice care and what they have already gone through leading up to Hospice, far more challenging than a ride. I think of everyone at Hospice providing services, palliative care and their daily dedication the patients and their loved ones during a time when it's needed most.  And of course, I think of my Dad, his love for people, nature and cycling!!

What’s your fundraising goal?

Originally I was hoping to get $500, but with the incredible support I've received, I've raise it to $1000 and have since surpassed that and hope to raise even more!

Is there anything else you’d like to say to our Cycle of Life community?

Looking forward to meeting you all on this incredible journey we are doing together for an amazing reason!

Help Erin reach her goal by sponsoring her ride today!


Quality palliative and end-of-life care for all: Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for those facing life-limiting illness, death and bereavement through patient and family centred care, education, research and advocacy.