KEARNEY — Even a global pandemic can’t stop volunteer motorcyclists from traveling from Scottsbluff to Lincoln for the 13th annual Pony Express Ride to emphasize children’s mental health.

The ride began Wednesday morning in Scottsbluff and will finish at the Nebraska State Capitol at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

Riders will pass through Kearney at 5 p.m. today and stop at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds, where a brief meeting with officials from the nonprofit Families Care is scheduled.

Traditionally, public events are held along the route, but that will not happen this year due to COVID-19 concerns. Riders will wear masks and practice social distancing.

Most of the bikers are members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and called Eagle Riders. They will re-enact the Pony Express by picking up letters along the way about children’s mental health written by youths, their families and others, and deliver them to the state Capitol.