Blog: Riding With The Police Unity Tour, Day 2

police unity tour
Posted at 8:56 PM, May 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-21 13:44:59-04

FAIRFAX, VA (WTXL) -- If the first day of the Police Unity Tour started out with perfect weather, the second day the riders were going to have to try to stay ahead of the rain.  

The first leg of the tour was the longest, but many called the second day the hardest. Even though they were going to be traveling 40 fewer miles, the hills on this part of the tour are brutal.

Fort AP Hill and the hill they have nicknamed “The Widowmaker” stand between the cyclist and their ultimate goal, to meet the family of the officers they ride in memory of, at the Law Enforcement Memorial Wall. Even the most experienced of riders concede that these hills are a formidable opponent.

Today we talked to many survivors. People who are now family to the law enforcement community because their loved ones gave their life doing their sworn duty to serve and protect.

I dare you not to tear up when talking with a young mom of two who lost her husband.  I dare you not to feel for the parents who are are barely holding it together as they try to tell you about their son who lost his life while doing the job he loved.

The law enforcement community will do anything for a survivor, including a 250-mile bike ride.Their motto, "We Ride for Those Who Died." They ride so that when they meet the family of the fallen at the wall, the can say your loved one will never be forgotten.  Ask any survivor, and they will tell you, that means everything.

So many survivors talked about the moment being bittersweet. So happy and proud that their fallen officer is being honored, yet so tragic that their fallen even has to be remembered because he is no longer around.

Many of the riders and support crew for the Police Unity Tour have made this trek together for years, and first time riders always talk about next year. They come from departments all over the country, and even from the United Kingdom. But they are all friends, they are all family.

Veterans on the tour who have climbed the hills of Virginia before, help those who are having a tougher time. It was pretty routine to see a cyclist put their hand on their fellow riders back and help push them up the hills.

Day three will be the earliest start of the tour, riders are scheduled to leave at 5:30 am. They have all come so far to make it to the memorial wall. It is the memory of the fallen that helps them to put their feet in the pedals and push; despite fatigue, injuries, and exhaustion. The rain that came down for part of Monday’s ride is forecasted to be long gone, and cyclists will have to battle 90 degree heat reflecting the asphalt as they leave Fredericksburg and into Washington D.C.