Bike To DC - National Police Week (Day 1 to Day 4) - myfoxcarolinas.com

Bike To DC - National Police Week (Day 1 to Day 4)

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Over the next 4 days, more than 100 people will ride 500 miles to Washington D.C. as part of National Police Week.

The 'Bike To DC' initiative started in 2007 when 2 local CMPD officers died in the line of duty.

The ride kicks off Friday morning from CMPD headquarters in Uptown.

72 cyclists and 13 support staff are riding all the way to DC, and 20 officers will join just for Day 1.

Most of the riders are from CMPD but other agencies include officers from NC, SC, VA, NV, WA and MA.

Day 1: National Police Week - Bike To DC (Charlotte to Asheboro)

The first leg of a 500 mile bike ride to DC is now over after nearly a hundred police officers took off Friday morning from Uptown.

It’s part of National Police Week.

Friday’s journey covered about 100 miles – it started from Charlotte and ended in Asheboro, NC.

We caught up with some officers who knew some of the fallen CMPD officers and tell us why this ride is so special to them.

I’ve been to countless funerals. I’ve stood at the side of a casket and folded flags. I fold Sean and Jeff’s flag when they were killed in 2007 which is why we started this ride,” said CMPD Captain Jacquelyn Haulsey.

Jacuquelyn Haulsey is cycling in honor of two coworkers who were killed on the job.

“For me it’s to show support and give back to the families and let them know we’ll never forget,” said Haulsey.Mark Smith shares a similar story.

Scott Futrell was a sergeant when he was killed in a plane crash. I knew Scott when I went through the academy. To know someone who was killed is difficult, but he was just one of our many brothers,” said Smith.

It’s a 500 mile ride

It’s symbolic because you’re not going to quit,” said Haulsey.

“This is my 5th trip – it’s important for people to understand by people in this job.

Some people give the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. We pay tribute by biking to DC and remind their families they are not forgotten,” said Smith.

And part of the journey is a few days of suffering.

“During the number of hours and miles we ride, we think about how painful it was for that person to die in the line of duty. So for us with long hours or going up hills, it’s nothing compared to what they paid with their life,” said Smith

“Those officers dedicated their jobs to the community and never quit and paid the sacrifice for it,” said Haulsey.

It’s a symbolic ride to honor the fallen.

The group started cycling to DC from 2007.

On Saturday, the group leaves bright and early to South Boston, VA.

Day 2: National Police Week - Bike To DC (Asheboro to South Boston)

Day 2 of the National Police Week ride ended in South Boston, VA.

But it was a bit of a bumpy ride with severe storms and hail forcing the cyclists to bike in the rain.

“I’m here to take part in this fabulous ride. It’s my first time riding the 500 miles. My husband Mike has done it twice and I’m always jealous that he gets to do it,” said Cheryl Ryan.

Cheryl Ryan and Mike Smith are the only husband and wife team cycling from Charlotte to DC for National Police Week.

“It’s a great opportunity to share the opportunity with me wife and talking about those who’ve died in the line of duty,” said MCSO Captain Michael Smith.

“Mike was training for this – I said do you think I can do it and he said physically yes, mentally I don’t know so I had to do it,” said Ryan.

“There’s a love hate relationship in this. It’s tough for a person by themselves let alone the emotional attachment of your spouse out here,” said Smith.

Day 2 of the 500 mile ride is going well for the couple.

“He is staying in the back with me but is staying with me and helps me push me up the hill,” said Ryan.

“It’s been fun – we shared a lot of ups and downs. It’s hilly and hot. It’s definitely tested us but it’s been fun,” said Smith.

Mike is riding to honor one of his former sergeants at the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.

“The ride is for Captain Anthony Stancil in September 1998 while working off duty at a Harris Teeter on Mallard Creek Road,” said Smith.

“Captain Stancil made contact but was shot and killed in the line of duty and died in the parking lot,” said Smith.

And Cheryl is riding to support her husband and Cheryl is riding to support her husband the other officers who protect us daily.

“It’s crazy hard. I have never done this. My body is sore but I am honored and I keep plugging along,” said Ryan.

Day 3 of the journey will continue Sunday from South Boston, VA to Richmond, VA.

Day 3: National Police Week - Bike To DC (South Boston to Richmond, VA)

Day 3 wrapped up in Richmond Virginia where 75 officers are still going strong to honor our fallen heroes.

The past few days have been pretty tough.

Day 2 had some unexpected weather forcing the cyclists to ride in the rain, and today one of the cyclists crashed and was taken to a nearby hospital.

It happened around 12:30 in Burkeville in Nottoway County.

A Kannapolis officer fell and bruised his ribs. Luckily, he’s going to be ok but won’t be able to continue the ride.

His wife drove in from Charlotte and met up with him in Richmond, VA.

Despite the challenges, it’s the sense of camaraderie these officers share that shows how they can cope through anything.

Today, another special bonding moment for one officer, who celebrated Mother’s Day, on the course with her son, who’s cycling for the first time.

“I started the day it’s Mother’s Day – I don’t know if he’s mad at me for taking him on the ride,” said Terry Young.

Terry Young spent her Mother’s Day biking to DC with her son Zoey.

“I think it’s awesome. He just graduated from an academy in December and I figured this would to law enforcement and I thought it’d be great experience for him.”

Young is one of the original 4 cyclists who started this ride.

“I have been doing this since 2007 when there were 4 of us after we had 2 officers killed in Charlotte. The first year I had a $10 bike – everyone had a $5,000 bike. I had no gear, no shoes, no shorts – nothing just went on it,” said Young.

She says it’s not an easy course – but she still pushes forward and tells her son to never give up.

“It’s a very difficult ride. He doesn’t own a bike. I think it’s awesome he’s doing it. The ride is very hard. I only ride for this event and then it parks for the rest of the year,” said Young.

Young hopes this ride will inspire her other kids to join in next year.

“I am going to try and get my other son to do it. I know my daughter wont but this could be a family tradition. One of them called and wished. Maybe they are waiting for me to come back. Maybe I’ll get a massage when I come back,” said Young.

Zoey took his mom to dinner for Mother’s Day.

The crew leaves bright and early Monday morning to DC – another 150 miles to go, and on Tuesday will attend the candle light vigil at Judiciary Square.

Day 4: National Police Week - Bike To DC (Richmond to Washington D.C)

After 4 days of cycling, nearly 75 officers from 6 states and 21 departments are in the nation’s capital for National Police Week.

Digital Journalist Archith Seshadri has traveled with them every step of the way.

The ride started Friday morning from Charlotte and along the way, the crew faced severe weather, had an injury on the way but completed the course around 8 p.m. Monday.

For many cyclists, this was their first time taking part in the 500 mile ride.

The brigade of cyclists pedaled into Washington D.C. with rush hour traffic.

As they pulled in, you could see standing ovation and cheers from the crowd.

It was all worth it for the men and women who sacrificed 4 tough days to honor our fallen heroes.

“Anytime an officer is killed it is an emotional thing,” said Aaron Moore, who is with the Mooresville Police Department.

Moore is one of many first time riders.

 “I’ve never done it before. It’s been a challenge but it’s been an awesome ride,” said Moore.

Moore says he didn’t know personally know any of the officers but still wanted to show his support.

“I am doing this for the officers who have fallen before me. We need to remember them as heroes and show that we care,” said Moore.

Some officers like Matthew Fox came from as far as Las Vegas.

“There are a lot of fallen officers that need support. That’s why I am out here,” said Matthew Fox.

“I am so tired now. The hardest part is going up the hills,” said Moore.

“It’s a huge challenge – the spacing, the miles and not being from this area,” said Fox.

“It’s been grueling. I knew it’d be hard      but not this hard,” said Moore.

After a 500 mile journey, these officers say the struggles are worth it.

 “It’s the bond of brotherhood. I’d lay down myself for any other officer in the country,” said Fox.

“If you fall behind, there are professionals to push you along. The fallen officers didn’t have a chance for someone to push them and help them so you remember we are here to help each other,” said Moore.

On Tuesday night, the officers will attend a candlelight vigil. That vigil is always on May 13th no matter the year. Officers who died in the line of duty in 2013 will have their names inscribed in a memorial wall.



What North Carolina Agencies Are Going?

  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
  • Mecklenburg County Sheriff
  • Matthews Police Department
  • Huntersville Police Department
  • Mint Hill Police Department
  • Pineville Police Department
  • Davidson Police Department
  • Cabarrus County Sheriff
  • Kannapolis Police Department
  • Stallings Police Department
  • NC State Highway Patrol
  • Mooresville Police Department
  • Greensboro Police Department
  • Iredell County Sheriff
Here are the list of fallen officers from Charlotte-Mecklenburg County:

  • Officer James Moran (1892)
  • Officer James H. Brown (1904)
  • Officer Sampson E. Cole (1905)
  • Officer John Robert Estridge (1913)
  • Officer John Franklin Fesperman (1924)
  • Chief of Detectives Joseph Orr (1926)
  • Detective John Byers (1926)
  • Officer Robert M. Reid (1927)
  • Detective Harvey Edgar Correll (1929)
  • Officer Stephen S. Rogers (1929)
  • Detective Thomas H. Jenkins (1929)
  • Officer Benjamin H. Frye (1930)
  • Officer Charles P. Nichols (1936)
  • Officer Rufus L. Biggers (1937)
  • Chief of Police John Albert Rape (1938)
  • Huntersville PD Detective Charlie Herbert Baker (1941)
  • Officer Johnny Reed Annas (1960)
  • Sgt. Lewis Edward (Ed) Robinson (1970)
  • Officer Ronnie E. McGraw (1970)
  • Special Agent Gregory W. Spinelli (1973)
  • FBI Officer Edmond N. Cannon (1981)
  • Officer Ernest Coleman (1982)
  • Deputy Sheriff Edmund V. Thomas, Jr. (1985)
  • Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office Officer Timothy (Tim) Wayne Whittington (1985)
  • Officer Robert Louis Smith (1987)
  • Officer Milus Terry Lyles (1990)
  • Officer Eugene (Gene) A. Griffin (1991)
  • Officer Anthony A. Nobles (1993)
  • Officer John Thomas Burnette (1993)
  • Officer Jackie Lamont Daniel (1994)
  • NCDMV Captain Anthony Stancil (1998)
  • Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office Patrolman Mark Allen Swaney (1997)
  • Davidson PD Sgt. Anthony Scott Futrell (2002)
  • Officer Jeffrey (Jeff) Shelton (2007)
  • Officer Sean Robert Clark (2007)
  • Officer Frederick (Fred) Alston Thornton (2011)
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