2008 Canada Skate

After returning home from the L.A. skate, Rob wasted no time. He immediately dove into pushing the cause, touring with bands and hosting events, couch surfing and even serving at a student pub just to pay the bills. For four years Rob focused all his energy into building a community of young stoked people who were passionate about finding a cure.

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But eventually his feet started itching again. It was time to remind people that the foundations of this growing campaign had always been dreaming big, showing love and working with indefatigable determination to find a cure. This time though, he would focus on Canada. Vancouver to Halifax in 5 months, skating from the western summer into the eastern winter.

Now having completed one skate successfully, the team had some idea of what to expect. But as usual there would be more than enough new adventures to keep them constantly guessing. So off they went, launching on international Go Skateboarding Day, and within 4 days Rob had pushed himself to the foot of the Rocky Mountains. He begun the steady process of skating up one side only to ride back down the other and start again. Every time he coasted into a tunnel Rob would scream at the top of his lungs and listen to his echo screaming back at him. By the time he’d made it out of the mountains his voice was gone but his resolve reverberated ten times louder.

It was enough to carry him across the Canadian prairies, an endless stretch of road that tested his psyche with a never-ending horizon. But eventually the slopes started returning and Mr.Dyer rolled past the Saskatchewan sign, his worries falling back behind. Unfortunately with them went the shoulder of the highway, and Rob was forced to edge onto the main road.

Embracing this new challenge, Rob pumped down the road all the way to Manitoba. So far there had been ups and downs, yet nothing had managed to stop the trek. Suddenly though, the tour blog started reporting a familiar challenge that had returned to harass Rob and the team repeatedly. The Provincial Police were circling closer and closer, and they definitely weren’t happy about a tattooed punk skating over their highways.

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Now Skate4Cancer isn’t about causing trouble with the law, but Rob was not prepared to feel the sting of another failure. He had set out to put his foot to every kilometer of the Canadian highway, and he was not going to skate in circles a second time. The team supported his choice to persevere despite the warnings and so on he went.

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Every day that he got out of the van to start, the fear of getting shut down was constantly looming. On top of that the condition of the highway was the worst so far, and still there was no shoulder. But finishing each day under these conditions made the laughs and chill sessions in the van that much sweeter. And those were the kinds of moments that helped Rob get through the most difficult time of the skate yet.

They managed to travel down through Ontario, taking a quick detour to chill and decompress with the fam in Toronto. When they cruised into town, s4c was welcomed by MTV, which had shut down the longest street in the world so that kids could skate a few KMs with Rob Dyer. Once again, the Masonic Temple filled up with record-breaking attendance to chat with the founder of Skate4Cancer about the cause. It was a brief and refreshing break getting to see his family and friends all cheering him on as he rounded the last portion of the skate.

For the rest of the journey, the whole team would face many more challenges, but they were always paired with equally rewarding experiences that balanced out the process of crossing a country on a skate. And so it would come that in mid-November, after a late night session through the blistering cold, Skate4Cancer got there.

Welcome to Halifax. No media, no party, just Rob and his team standing outside the van at 2 a.m. in the morning, the breath of their love_canada_blog_04 laughs freezing in the air. Finished, finally.

It had been 5 years since he had first attempted to skateboard across a country to draw attention to the magnitude of cancer. For Rob, Van to Hali was not a 5 month ordeal but rather the culmination of all the dedicated time he’d invested since the beginning. He considered it the first true success for Skate4Cancer, and that energy blasted the organization forward with a fresh and reinvigourated stokage.