Awesome in every way.
That’s how Lake Country RCMP constable Brandwyn Rigby describes the 10 day, 1,000 kilometre Cops For Kids bike ride that she took part in this year, an event that raised over $350,000 for the organization that helps kids and families in need.
From her ascent of the 1,575 metre Paulson Summit near Castlegar, to riding in 38 degree heat in Oliver and through hail and a two degree chill in Cranbrook, to riding through her home detachment in Lake Country, there wasn’t a part of the Cops for Kids ride that Rigby didn’t love.
“Awesome is probably the best word and in all the ways that awesome means: Humbling, awe inspiring, amazing,” she said. “We had a lot of laughs and there were tears. There were a lot of high highs and low lows. We experienced the full spectrum, physically and emotionally.”
The Cops for Kids annual fundraising ride takes place each year and raises funds for the RCMP’s charitable organization. As the riders made stops in different communities in the region, families who have been helped by Cops for Kids came out to share their stories.
“That was the humbling part,” she said. “We met families who were there to say ‘thank-you so much because in our time of need you had our back.’ We heard some pretty amazing stories from people who just needed some help.”
Riding together as part of a team was a natural extension of their jobs, said Rigby. As peace officers riders are used to helping each other out and on the ride it was no different as they encouraged each other to keep on riding over the 10 day trek. On the long ascent to the top of the Paulson Summit, the only stretch where the pack of riders separated and went on their own, Rigby said she had time to think and it was all about the people that the charity supports and help.
“I had a lot of time to think on that climb and what really struck me was the cause and the people that we were doing this for,” she said.
The Cops for Kids ride made a circuit route through the region and went through Lake Country on its final day, pedaling towards the finish line. For Rigby it was bitter-sweet. The group was riding so well after 10 days on the road and she heard the support from people in the community, including her own three children who had set up a sign to welcome her back.
But with no official stop in Lake Country, the riders kept on going, save for one quick stop to thank a sponsor. But the love Rigby felt and continues to feel in Lake Country—$5,000 was raised in the community—has her thinking that maybe, just maybe she could handle doing the ride again.
“Coming into this area was the best for me,” she said. “It was the last day and we were completely gelled. We saw everyone waving and calling out our names. They were yelling out thank-yous. And I just thought ‘wow, we’ve done the right thing.’ We raised over $5,000 in the community and I know everyone of those people that sponsored me. It was community people that know each other and care about the kids and that was pretty neat.”
Awesome, in fact.