Cyclists with the annual Cops for Kids Ride finished their 1,000-kilometre ride in Kelowna on Sunday.
The event, now it its 20th year, raises money for children living with disabilities, facing medical challenges and going through physical and mental crises.
“There’s so many children and families that fall through the cracks and need help and Cops for Kids helps them out,” said Sgt. Rob Crowder with the Nelson sheriff’s office.
“The kids that we support, there is no rest day for them, they just have to keep going.”
Traditionally the ride involves police officers from various detachments biking as a group. They ride 100 kilometres each day for 10 days as they circle southeastern B.C.
However, this year the event looked a bit different due to the COVID-19 pandemic with only a portion of the riders cycling with the group for each leg of the ride.
The other riders covered their kilometres in their home areas.
Part of the ride also had to be done indoors on stationary bikes this year after wildfire smoke caused air quality in southern B.C. to deteriorate to the point that strenuous outdoor exercise was not recommended.
There were also no welcome parties at each community this year.
Normally the riders would be met by families the Cops for Kids Charitable Foundation has helped.
This year they were met by their own families congratulating them for their hard work.
Golden-Field RCMP officer Robyn Diddams is riding for the second year. This year, he was thinking back to the families the group met last year when he needed the motivation to continue cycling.
“The first year was so inspirational. It’s probably my favourite part of being an RCMP member is helping the community and seeing the lives that we touch,” Diddams said.
“It’s totally worth it to get out and push myself for 10 days.”
Over the 20 years the charity has raised $4.5 million and it is hoping to reach a new milestone by raising $500,000.