The need to help families with children facing illness, disability or traumatic crises hasn’t gone away during the COVID-19 pandemic and neither has the 20th annual Cops for Kids ride.
The ride will look different this year to keep the cyclists and communities along the route safe, with no overnight stays, no stops for meals and no community gatherings.
The 10-day ride which covers more than 1,000 kilometers across southeastern B.C. is the foundation’s signature fundraising event.
The ride raises awareness and funds for children in medical, physical or traumatic crisis.
While the event will go ahead this year, instead of the 29-member team cycling across the southern Interior, groups of about six local riders, along with three-person support crews, will be designated to complete each 100-kilometre leg of the route on behalf of the team.
The remainder of the team will continue to pedal 100 km a day in their own communities.
Cyclists return home after their leg of the ride is complete and are responsible for the costs and arrangements for getting themselves to the start and from the end points of their leg.
Unlike other years, the team will not be stopping in communities to meet supporters; however, people can make signs and line up along the road to cheer on and encourage the riders.
The ride starts Friday with the leg from Kelowna to Osoyoos. People can see the riders from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m. along Harvey Avenue from Reid’s Corner to the W.R. Bennett Bridge.
From 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., the riders are expected on Beach Avenue in Peachland from 13th to 3rd Street and then will head south to Penticton where people can cheer them on from Wade Avenue to Skaha Lake on Main Street from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. and in Oliver on Main Street from Kootenay to Similkameen from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m.
The final leg takes place Sept. 20 when people can cheer the riders on as they cycle along Harvey Avenue in Kelowna from Reid’s Corner to Leckie Road from 11:15 to 11:30 a.m.
Four members of the team were aiming to log 100 km as they pedalled some 40 feet in the air atop a scissor lift Saturday at the West Kelowna Save On Foods as part of a barbecue fundraiser.
People could enjoy a barbecue lunch by donation to Cops for Kids with Nor-Val Rentals matching donations up to $2,500.
The Cops for Kids foundation has provided grants to help people get wheelchairs, guide dogs, mobility tools, receive therapy as well as pay for travel and food expenses for children in hospital.
Each rider has raised a minimum of $2,500 to participate in the ride. To make a donation, go online to copsforkids.org.