© Nathan Liewicki
Dave Dixon is one of 16 Winnipeg Police Service members participating in the 10th Cops for Kids bike ride. Dixon, originally from Moose Jaw, passed through his hometown Tuesday morning with three other team members. Times-Herald photo by Nathan Liewicki
The Cops for Kids bicycle tour is back in the saddle.
Two years after cycling from Winnipeg to Key West, Fla., Dave Dixon and other members of the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) are at it again, except this time their destination is Tofino, B.C.
Dixon, who hails from Moose Jaw, is one of five original members from the group’s maiden ride in support of the Children’s Wish Foundation’s Manitoba branch, participating in this year’s trek.
On Tuesday morning, Dixon and his four-member crew passed through our city.
Another Moose Javian, Thane Chartrand, is also participating in this year’s tour, although he is not part of Dixon’s team.
This year’s team is comprised of 16 members split into groups of four. Each group has two riders who cycle 200 km over an eight-hour period before switching off with the other two.
Having completed their 400-km stretch, each crew tags in the next in a relay manner before driving ahead to await their next turn to cycle.
In 1995, Dixon, along with Bob Keber, Devon Clunis, Geordie MacKenzie and Gord Friese, cycled west to Vancouver in an effort to both raise money and awareness for deadly childhood illnesses.
That group of 13 riders raised approximately $24,000 that first tour.
“We got the idea to do the ride when a group of cyclists from Houston came up to Winnipeg,” said Dixon. “I was a member of the police bike unit at the time that provided them an escort.”
Every second year since 1995, the five WPS members have travelled across the continent with other sometimes riders from the force.
They have also been to Halifax, San Diego, New York City, San Francisco, Clearwater, Fla., and Mexico.
In conjunction with sponsors Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola, close to $1 million has been raised by the Cops for Kids tour over the last 18 years.
“We like cycling and enjoy the physical fitness aspect of the ride,” noted Dixon. “It’s great to be with the guys and just working hard at something together.”
More importantly, however, is the charitable aspect of the ride.
“Bringing awareness to the other provinces we ride through is just as important as raising money for the Children’s Wish Foundation,” said Dixon.
The team’s goal is to raise sufficient funds to grant the most heartfelt wish of at least five children in Manitoba.
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks.