More than 100 cyclists rose bright and early Sunday, feeling the rush of the cool, fall air as they pedalled in support the 18th annual MS Bike Tour.
Participants in what's known as the Thompson River Ride - the second largest annual fundraiser for the Kamloops chapter of the MS Society - could be sure of one clear advantage: No heat stroke.
Having five route choices, ranging from 12 to 100 kilometres, attracted riders of all ages and abilities.
"We are the last MS Ride (of the national program) on the first (full) day of fall," said Trina Radford, chapter manager and fundraising co-ordinator.
Heather Gnoato and her six-year-old daughter, Kaleigh, joined the tour for the first time, signing up for the 12-kilometre leg in support of husband Dino.
Like a number of other riders, Dino has MS. He's been doing the ride for four years.
"I think it's very important," he said. "The No. 1 reason is awareness, and to raise money, hopefully, as well."
Research has made significant inroads toward understanding the disease and possibly finding a cure.
"There is hope," Gnoato said. "It is promising. Things keep changing constantly."
Ninety volunteers, forming a cheering section and helping at rest stops en route, made the event a success.
For the second year in a row, a Century Ride of 100 km was included, attracting a couple dozen participants, some of them with MS. Their goal was a circle route that took them to the McLure ferry crossing north of Black Pines and back to Riverside Park - an impressive achievement for anyone with MS.
"It's highly variable," Radford said of the effects of MS. "It's so dependent on the individual. Some can do treatment and are able to keep the majority of symptoms of MS at bay. They might be elite athletes without MS."