Cops for Kids

The Cops for Kids bike ride goes through Peachland Friday morning.

There will be less pleasant days ahead, probably, than the summery conditions into which the first participants in this year’s annual Cops for Kids fundraiser set off Friday.

Past editions of the event have seen the community-minded RCMP officers weather driving rain, heavy smoke, even light snow on their September cycling odyssey around the B.C. Interior.

But it was nothing but blue skies and warm temperatures Friday when the officers left Kelowna on day one of a 10-day trek through the Okanagan and Kootenays. And temperatures through the region next week look to be above average, though with an increasing chance of rain.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a few changes to this year’s 20th anniversary Cops for Kids, which raises money for underprivileged children from families that may be struggling with a variety of issues.

Instead of 30 RCMP members making the 10-day trip together, officers from local detachments — spaced out in groups of three — will cycle one leg near their community. Day One saw Okanagan-based officers ride from Kelowna to Osoyoos.

Other officers will ride through Grand Forks, Castlegar, Nelson, Cranbrook, Three Valley Gap and Kamloops.

Each Cops for Kids participant pledges to raise at least 2,500 on their own and donations from the public are gratefully received. To donate, see copsforkids.org