The 24 riders representing the 2023 Cops for Kids wrapped up their journey on Sunday (Sept. 17).
The cyclists, representing RCMP, BC Sheriff Service and BC Corrections within the southeast district and their support crew, returned to Kelowna, having left the city on Friday, Sept. 8 for the ride.
Cycling through the South Okanagan, Kootenays and Thompson region before the final push from Vernon, through 10 days, the team was faced with many challenges including long days, hot weather and steep climbs. The first challenge the team overcame was to divert their route around the rock slide blocking Hwy 97 between Peachland and Summerland. Then, the team did not get a reprieve from the unseasonably hot weather.
“It’s not an easy feat to cycle these long distances day after day with the sun beating down on us, but we kept hydrated and got shade where we could,” said ride captain and retired Staff Sgt. Major Julio Krenz. “Some of our rider got some bumps and bruises; most of the riders have aches and pains, but they’re still smiling, and they’ll head back to their duties tomorrow after a well-deserved rest in their own beds tonight.”
The team visited 26 different communities over the 10 days and were greeted with fantastic community support along the way. At the half way point of the ride, Cranbrook hosted a very successful Jail and Bail event that Cops of Kids support crew were able to participate with to help raise funds needed for the children.
“It is that great community support and meeting with children we have helped along the way that keeps us coming back,” said Cpl. Tania Finn. “We have many returning riders that are very passionate about this cause and, when we ride into town to cheers and smiles, it makes it all worthwhile.”
The ride was presented by the Thomas Alan Budd Foundation. More information can be found at copsforkids.org as they are still accepting donations.