It was just 24 hours ago that the team was welcomed home by families, friends, sponsors & supporters to finish the 2012 Cops for Kids Ride, presented by the Thomas Alan Budd Foundation.
The team covered nearly 1,000km in 10 days, and during that time met some wonderful people across our region. The team was hosted & fed by generous restaurants, hotels & community groups throughout the journey, and we're forever thankful for the hospitality.
A special thank you to our Presenting Sponsor - The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation; Platinum Sponsors - Boston Pizza, CIBC, Lake City Casinos & QHR Technologies Inc.; and our Gold Sponsors - Astral, Domino's Pizza, Kelowna Rockets, Pulse Group, Stutters Disaster Kleenup, Tamarack Centre & Westbank Kinsmen.
As a team, they managed to gain a few pounds, and some new friendships that will last a lifetime. The sore muscles will heal, but the memories and knowing that they've made a difference will last a lifetime.
by Colleen Lowing, Nelson RCMP
Today we started out in Kamloops, BC. After a great nights rest at the Northshore Holiday Inn, we had a scrumptious breakfast at the White Spot. The ride then took the bus to the Kamloops Zoo/ Wildlife preserve to start the ride. It was a beautiful morning, with clear blue skies and sunshine to bless our final long day of riding. Starting out on the highway towards Salmon Arm, we took the exit towards Falkland which took us up yet another grueling hill. Proud to say all our riders made it up the approximately 4km grind without so much as a whimper. We stopped in Falkland at the RCMP detachment for a yummy lunch provided by the Sedo’s Deli, out of Salmon Arm. From Faulkland we continued on to the visitor information just at the edge of Vernon where we met up with Vernon Mayor Robert Sawatsky, who rode his bike into Vernon with the rest of the riders. While relaxing at the information center, waiting for the right time to head into town, four of our riders, Dirk Finkensiep, Scott McGillivray, Brian Burke and Wally Bursey broke off from the pack to ride their bikes the approximately 25kms up the mountain to Silver Star ski hill. Having already ridden over 100kms, this has become an annual tradition for the more elite riders.
The remainder of the riders arrived at the Boston Pizza in Vernon at 4pm, right on schedule and were greeted by one of our ambassadors, Mercedes. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit with Mercedes in Boston Pizza while they served us a well deserved snack of delectable appetizers. This precious little girl was a joy to talk to and share stories. She is taking gymnastics to improve her coordination and strengthen her joints. She told me she really like the ribbons and vaulting. Meeting these ambassadors helps to inspire all the riders to push through the tough hills and make it to the end.
Another tradition on day 9 is a team finale celebration at the Same Sun Youth hostel, at Silver Star, where we have a team feast and presentations. On this evening the riders significant others and family members can come up and meet the riders and hear the stories from the ride. This year Kevin Lane and Gwen McLennan were crowned king and queen of the hill, from the race up the Blueberry Paulson summit. Rookie of the year was Rob Gardner, whom I am personally thankful for having on the ride, as he helped me to get up the Paulson ride.
These 10 days have gone by quickly, we had a great team and made new friends, all forever bonded together for the most worthy cause, raising money for the children in our communities. Tomorrow we will have breakfast at Denny’s in Vernon and then ride on to Kelowna for our homecoming celebration, featuring the Blues Brothers. The ride will be arriving into Kelowna at 1145am at the CIBC by Orchard Park mall, where we will say farewell, but not goodbye.
Day 8 by Kevin Lane, BC Sheriff Services Vernon
Today we were met with another glorious sunny sky. Our journey would take us from Three Valley Gap to Kamloops.
We started out having breakfast at the Prestige in Salmon Arm, courtesy of the Rotarians. The lighter fare was appreciated by all.
After leaving the Prestige, we stopped by Sedo’s Deli, to meet Viktor & Veronika who will be providing us with lunch tomorrow. So nice to see great supporters in smaller towns to support Gwen McLennan. To our surprise, our friends from Grand Forks were there to greet us and ride us out of town as well.
The legs were a little heavy from our rest day yesterday, so it was a bit of a slow start. Onwards to Chase, we met up with Little Ambassador Cody, who rode us into town at the school where we had lunch courtesy of the Chase Rotary.
Back on our bikes, we were fortunate enough to have a tail wind at our back. Colleen’s chant and dance last night must’ve paid off. We were able pick up some speed that we lost this morning. Arriving into Kamloops at the truck stop, Shawna was ready with ice cream and we met with the Kamloops RCMP for our escort to the Detachment. Spirits were high, and largely because of the support of motorists that were pulling off and cheering us on. As we weaved through Kamloops traffic, the Kamloops RCMP kindly escorted us to the Detachment, where we had 2 Little Ambassadors waiting for us. It was inspiring to hear their stories and happy endings.
Onto the hotel for a quick change and then it was next door to visit with the Fraternal Order of the Eagles for a great Chinese food dinner. The evening wrapped up with meat draws and a victorious Dirk with his ribs that somehow have to get back to Fort St.John.
Thanks to the Holiday Inn Kamloops for taking us in. Tomorrow we hit my hometown of Vernon!
Kudos to our mechanic Dirk today. We encountered a lot of flat tires today, so he was kept busy.
Day 7, by Michael Hull, Golden RCMP
Day seven has always traditionally been a bit of a “cheat day” on the Cops for Kids ride due to the fact that bikes and riders spend a good portion of the day being transported by vehicles all the way from Cranbrook to Three Valley Gap. Although very little biking took place today, the day proved to exemplify the core objectives of the ride: helping little hearts in our communities through the support of some special community partnerships.
The day began with the team waking up at the beautiful Elizabeth Lake Lodge in Cranbrook. Riders are often quite tired on this day after the excitement of the Tamarack Mall fashion show but the imported beds and beautifully-decorated rooms offered by George and Rachel at the Lodge make the few hours of sleep a real treat. For those who have never stayed here, it is a must if visiting Cranbrook.
From the Lodge, we headed over to the ABC Restaurant where we were treated to an awesome breakfast of bacon, eggs, and pancakes pulled together and served by Betty and Pat. After filling our stomachs, we headed north to Fort Steele to take a photo of the entire team, an annual tradition offered by our amazing photographer, Bryan. These photos are later given to our numerous sponsors as a token of our thanks and each rider also receives a copy as a memory of the ride.
After having our photo taken, our convoy headed north on Highway 95 to Golden, a special little town nestled in the beauty of six national parks. This year we were extremely appreciative of Martijn and Chris Duijts and staff of the Fire Pit BBQ Smokehouse who graciously provided the entire team with mouth-watering pulled pork sandwiches before we jumped back on our bikes and headed down to the Sobey’s where Manager Cam Dawes and staff arranged to have a HUGE Cops for Kids cake on hand.
At Sobey’s we were greeted by Golden Mayor, Christina Benty, members of the Golden RCMP, various community partners, and, most importantly, four of our little ambassadors and their families. Over the past year, Cops for Kids has been able to provide $24,000 back to the community of Golden and we were honoured to share this portion of our day meeting and listening to the stories of these four special little people. We were each brought to tears hearing of their challenges, reminding us of the importance of why each of us has joined this important cause.
After leaving the Sobey’s with our bellies filled with cake, we rode our bikes to one last stop in Golden at the Golden Hospital where we met with staff and several other organizations who assisted with the purchase of a new pediatric crib. Cops for Kids was pleased to provide $11,500 towards this essential piece of equipment that will assist the hospital to provide services to children for many years to come. From here, we loaded our bikes onto the truck and jumped onto our big yellow school bus, heading in a westward direction to Three Valley Gap where we were treated to a tour of this unbelievable hotel and connected property by Thane, a true character. Three Valley Gap has offered a fantastic dinner and rooms to our entire team for numerous years and, as with all of our sponsors, this is much appreciated.
Tomorrow we will jump back on our bikes in Salmon Arm and look forward to another long day on the roads as we head over 100 kilometres to Kamloops. As we pedal on, those who have supported us and those we ride for are constantly in our thoughts. You are all on our shoulders as we pedal with our aching legs in an effort to improve the lives of our special little ambassadors.
by Brenda Kotzian & Christine Banford, Canada Border Service Officers
Thanks to ABC Restaurant for the fabulous eggs benny to help fuel us on our first cold morning where we could actually see our breath. Mayor Toyota joined us for breakfast to encourage us on our 104 km ride from Creston to Cranbrook.
It’s 6 days into our ride, and Shawna, part of our support team has been our nurse and ride mother to all our aches and pains. She bought out the pharmacy of cold med’s and ointments.
After our tasty lunch donated by Overwaitea in Creston and Shawna warming us up with chicken soup we carried on and were treated to a most welcome mainly flat scenic ride.
The city of Cranbrook is one of Cops for Kids biggest supporters. The community pulls together and creates a fantastic evening of entertainment which entails a fashion show by the local Kootenay Ice Hockey Team, COTR Avalanche Volleyball Team as well as the male rides for the Cops for Kids.
Special guest stars who attended the event included Sigfried and Roy, Mariyln Monroe, Michael Jackson, Katy Perry, Adele, Elvis AKA Scott McGillvray the 42 year old birthday boy and Sam the safety bear.
As much as the men were the star attraction on the cat walk the women were busy behind the scenes. The evening was a great success in raising funds for such a worthy cause and allowed everyone to relax and enjoy themselves.
All we have to do on day 7 is.... ready????? Get up and be in the parking lot by 7:30 in our riding gear, get on the bus.. go eat, take pictures, go eat... ride,,, take more pictures.. get on the bus, eat some more, ride a bit. oh and eat. Sounds familiar!
Tonight we’re at the Elizabeth Lake Lodge, where George, Rachel & the boys welcome us with open arms.
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