Police Unity Tour 2013: Day 4 –

The final day of the 2013 tour is over. It was a day that has touched me more than I imagined possible. Where Do I start? Probably at the beginning is a good place.

Well, after yesterday’s abortive ride, the weather to day was much better. The sun was out, but there was a relatively strong headwind. however, this would merely sort out the men from the boys.

The ride as usual set out relatively slowly and along the way we picked up 2 other groups of riders. The first and only stop of the day was at a Target store after 19 miles. This was a relatively hilly 19 miles, but I am pleased to say that no one rode stronger than me as far as I am aware. I rode up the front and never had to get out of my saddle on the hills. I had my GPS programmed with last year’s ride, so I knew where all the hills were coming and how steep they were. This was a huge advantage. In 2010, I struggled up the first main hill of the day. This year, I rode past other riders up the hill (but still stayed behind the lead car). I put this down to losing weight. It is a good reason to lose more weight. I enjoyed the hills and actually wished there was more of them. This was no doubt helped by how slow we went up the hill

We made it to the RFK Stadium with no major mishaps and no problems, although we were the last ride to arrive. After a short break and a chat with a couple of English Police officers [ more to follow tomorrow on this], we were on our way to the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial.

We arrived at the memorial from the opposite direction to previous years, but this did not stop me from seeing my mother, sister and brother as we rode in. I was so proud they could see this event and share the emotion with me. The fact it was mother’s day in the USA made it more special

I  have to make a special mention for two people. Barb whom I have mentioned before completed the ride without being in the sag wagon at any time. This time last year, I and others rode in the memory of her father and step father who were both police officers who died in the course of their duty. Barb expressed the wish to complete the ride. I can say now that I never thought this was anything more than the fantasy wishes of someone carried away in the emotion of the day.

Well, Barb proved me wrong. She trained for the event and was a joy to have as part of our team. She rode all of the 3 days we rode and she should be as proud of herself as I am of her. She was not a cyclist before this event, but she most certainly is now. Barb, I hope you enjoyed riding with us as much as we enjoyed being with you. I would love it if you joined us again next year. Team Ohio International needs people like you.

The next person who I would like to mention is Jeremy Benedict, an officer from Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. He rode this year in memory of his good friend who died in a car accident caused by a drunken driver whilst responding to a 911 call. The hardest part for Jeremy is that his friend died 98 days after his twins were born – talk about mixed emotions.

I have already mentioned the fact my mother and brother and sister were able to be at the memorial today. I hope they experienced even a fraction of the emotion I feel in seeing the crowds welcoming us to the memorial. We do not deserve that adulation as all we are doing it riding our bikes.

Tonight I have been out for dinner with a group of brothers and comrades from across the USA and Canada. A very special occasion. I will write more tomorrow, but will end by saying:

1. This was a great event again

2. I’ll be back

3. There is to be a UK ride this summer

About spen666

I'm a 50 something football fan and occasional cyclist. I've been a football fanatic most of my life and have completed the 92 football league & premier league grounds previously. I have 1 left to rejoin the 92 club. Added to this numerous non league grounds, a number abroad and you start to get the picture. I took up cycling in around 2000. Although my father was a former World Vets Champion, I got into cycling accompanying my son to ride in London. This was followed by my commuting to work each day into Central London. Then doing some Sunday rides, then some audax events (www.audax.uk.net) and then a week's cycling holiday in France with a friend. From there, I got more and more into cycling and in 2009 completed LEJoG and in 2010 rode in the USA with the Police Unity Tour. I completed blogs for those events at www.aminearlythere.blogspot.com and www.bothesidesofthepond.blogspot.com Feel free to read them and learn more about me. I now am one of the organising committee for the UK Police Unity Tour (www.ukpoliceunitytour.org ) I live alone which suits me as it gives me time at weekends to pursue my interests of cycling and football. (Well what did you expect me to say? That I'm sad at being single?) I'm currently looking for my next challenge. Any suggestions gratefully received.
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