Friday, May 12, 2006

Day #29 Annapolis, MD to Washington, DC

Pat Montuore addresses all riders at the Memorial

Today we completed the final leg of our ride. It seems so long ago, 28 days, when we left Los Angeles for the ride to the Memorial. 3600 miles later, 45 of them today, and at last we arrived in Washington DC. Our route today took us through rolling hills and farm lands before entering our Nations Capital. The motor support was fantastic and our good friends from Oklahoma, Lt Steve Howell and his boys rolled in and helped out during the last 20 miles. We all went to the FDR Monument where we met with the Virginia Chapter. At 1:45 pm we, 750 strong, headed to the Police Memorial. With our families, friends, supporters and many others waiting we rolled in to their cheers! It was very moving and inspiring to see.
At the arrival ceremony Pat Montuore and Harry Phillips spoke about the accomplishments of the Unity Tour. Craig White presented Craig Floyd with the Engraved Memorial Baton that we carried across the USA. Floyd then gave a moving and rousing speech about all the Great things that the Unity Tour has been able to do in the past 10 years. A $1,000,000 check was presented to the Memorial by Pat Montuore.

Today marks the end of our journey, a journey of Honor, remembering all of our Brother and Sister Officers as we rode across the USA. We could not have made this journey a success without all 12 of us working together as a "Team" in Unity. We also would never have been able to complete this journey without all the support we received from individuals, businesses, fellow Officers and our Families. On behalf of all the 12 members of the Cross Country "Team" we Thank you from the bottom of our hearts...

$5,000,000 pledge

Craig Floyd speaks about Unity Tour accomplishments after being presented with the Engraved Memorial Baton carried across the USA by bicycle
Memorial Flag
Rob and Pat look back as we ride through the streets of DC
Crowd at the Memorial
Hiroshi at a break along the route..
Kevin and Dennis celebrate the arrival at the Memorial
SB getting ready to move on to DC

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Day #28 Wilmington, DE to Annapolis, MD

Getting ready to leave in the morning today...

Today is the 3rd day of the Police Unity Tour Ride from NYC to DC. We awoke to the threat of showers and 58 degrees. As we rode through the City of Wilmington, DE we were greated by non other than Craig Floyd, Director of the National Law Enforcement Memorial. As we continued on the skies began to darken and about 75 miles into the ride it started raining. Everyone picked up the pace a bit and we rolled into Annapolis at 95 miles for the day. Tomorrow we leave for DC and join our other 375 riders from South Jersey and Virginia. We will ride together, in unity, to the Police Memorial.

Heading for a Huge Hill....

Tom Maier getting ready as other riders mount up...

Rob, Steve, Craig, Dennis, SB and Pat waiting for a break to end as we move towards Annapolis

Craig Floyd was in Wilmington to cheer us all on!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Day #27 Woodbridge, NJ to Wilmington, DE

Crossing the big bridge into Delaware

Today was our first 100 mile day with the entire Unity Tour. It was a great day with mostly sunny skies and mild winds. The pace was low but everyone's spirits were high as we rode our bikes into Delaware. Along the way numerous people, school kids and fellow Officers cheered us on. It is truly inspiring to see all the support. 400 strong moving in unity....tomorow we will ride another 100 miles to Annapolis, Maryland...

Nancy and Dawn on a break from riding
The long thin "Blue Line"

Arizona and Texas talking "shop" at the start of the day..
Pat and SB moving along....

Traveling through New Jersey

Tom, Dennis, Dave, Bob and Kevin from APD
Tom, Jim and Dennis having a great time

Bruce and Tom getting ready for a 100 mile day...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Day #26 Florham Park, NJ to NYC "Ground Zero" to Woodbridge, NJ

Ceremony at Ground Zero in New York City

Nearly 500 riders and support converged in Florham Park for the beginning of the Police Unity Tour including 3 additional members of the Amherst Police Department, Tom Maier, Robert Stephens and David Van Dusen, 60 more riders from California, 200 New Jersey riders and many others from different States.

Before the ride an outdoor breakfast of bagels, coffee, fruit and assorted cereals were served, and it was apparent from the beginning that the hard working members of the Police Unity Tour staff had done an exemplary job. The logistics of putting together an event such as this is a feat in itself. Trying to move 400 cyclists, 50 motors, numerous support vehicles, feeding them all and managing traffic to the point that the Holland Tunnel, NYC was shut down, is a testament to the hard work and effort put into this. We take our hats of to the hard working men and women of the Police Unity Tour.

Our days ride took us to Jersey City to a bridge where on Christmas 2005 two Officers Sean Carson and Robert Nguyen were killed in an accident during a heavy fog. All riders dismounted and removed their helmet as they walked their bikes in silence honoring their fallen comrades.

Our next stop was Ground Zero, site of the World Trade Center buildings where an emotional ceremony was held honoring the 72 Law Enforcement Officers who were killed on 9-11. The ceremony was opened with the National Anthem, bagpipes and a reading of all 72 names. The NYPD bestowed two well deserved awards to Pat Montuore and Harry Phillips honoring their hard work in supporting the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and congratulating them on the 10 year anniversary of the Police Unity Tour.

Later while speaking with Pat Montuore he said he wanted to let everyone know that he “appreciates all the support that the Police Unity Tour has received.” He especially wanted to note that without the support of the Local Cities and Towns we pass through our mission could not be a success.

SB, Rob, Pat, Fred, Tony, Kevin and Dennis at Ground Zero
Bruce, Nancy, Hiroshi and Jim in New York City

Monday, May 08, 2006

Day #25 Florham Park, N.J.Send Off Ceremony

Candlelight Vigil in Florham Park, New Jersey

Deputy Chief Patrick P. Montuore speaking about the Memorial Baton our Team presented to him tonight.

Today we had a rest day before continuing out journey to Washington, DC with the entire Police Unity Tour. Breaking down the trailer, cleaning bikes, vehicles and greeting all our friends arriving for the Unity Tour. There is no rest for the weary...
Tonight the Town of Florham Park hosted the Police Unity Tour's 10th anniversary candlelight vigil. A large number of people attended the event. A 20 man Pipe and Drum band marched in to begin. Speakers included Mayor Frank Tinari and Congressman Mario Biaggi. Craig White presented Pat Montuore with an Engraved Memorial Baton and all members of our team were introduced before the crowd. Pat then gave a heart felt speech.
Later Craig Floyd, Chairman of the National Law Enforcement Memorial gave a tremendous speech about the things that the Police Unity Tour has accomplished over the past 10 years.
The Event was concluded with a moving version of "God Bless the USA" to the people all holding lit candles high is the air.
We are now truly united, 400 strong, in our cause as we depart in the morning for NYC Ground Zero...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Day #24 Allentown, PA to Florham Park, NJ

Easton, PA Police Lt. James R. Reilly was presented with a Memorial Baton by Officer Rob Stober of the Cross Country Team. Easton Officer Jesse Sollman was killed in 2005. Lt. Reilly is going to present the baton to the widow, Carin Sollman.

Today all 12 riders began the final leg of the Cross Country Ride in Allentown, PA. We had Motor support from the Police Unity Tour and the Easton PD. The weather was brisk, 48 degrees, but no one was complaining. This ride was the culmination of a years worth of work, planning and preparation. Every member of this team has trained hard and taken off from work to do this ride. Not one member would want it any other way.

We have undertaken this endeavor for one reason, to honor our fellow Officers, heroes, who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. We all have considered it a true honor to represent the Police Unity Tour in this ride. As we rode into Florham Park we were met by none other than Pat Montoure, Harry Phillips and other Unity Tour members.

Today, the ride finished a tough 74 miles that were filled with many many hills. One hill we hit outside of Easton, PA was a 16% grade for over ½ mile. Rob Stober’s parents supplied food and extended great hospitality to us. As we continued on to our completion our team looked sharp all the way to the finish.
Monday will be a rest day and Tuesday we leave Florham Park to ride to NYC Ground Zero for a Ceremony and then on to Woodbridge, NJ.

A picture of our Team upon arrival in Florham Park, NJ
Our Team as we crossed into New Jersey

We stopped for a Team picture and lunch at Rob Stobers house in New Jersey

All 12 Team members riding into New Jersey

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Day #23 Hagerstown, Md to Allentown, Pa

Ceremony in Allentown, PA
Sunrise in Maryland...
Group 1 (Patrick, Dennis, Rob and Kevin) awoke to sunny skies. Today was the last time that the groups would ride separately. Tomorrow we will complete the entire final leg together. Group 1 rode through downtown Hagerstown then headed to the countryside. Rolling hills and green wheat pastures lined the roadway. We stopped at the Pennsylvania border for a picture and found a cement Mason Dixon Line marker. Once we arrived in Pennsylvania, the group was met with one of the toughest hills we have had so far and one in which they could only ride at only 7-8mph. Down hill however was a different story with the group hitting 50 mph! Sgt Hall and Deputy Backensto from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department met us after the border and escorted us through their county. Patrick, Dennis, Rob and Kevin pedaled through historic Gettysburg.

Group 2 (SB, Fred, Steve and Craig) began riding from east of York and began to get into heavier traffic. On route 30 we had to get off this divided highway and head into uncharted waters. After some GPS work the group was back on track. The group moved along briskly with each team member taking turns in the front. The highlight of the ride was when Group 2 crossed the mighty Susquehanna River. It was beginning to heat up outside when they arrived at the switch point.

Group 3 (Dawn, Tony, Bruce and Nancy) took the final leg. Deputy Kyle Hummel of the Berks County Sheriff’s Office gave us an escort until we were almost to Allentown, PA. The group headed into some beautiful winding roads lined with Oak and Cherry trees. A pretty strong crossing wind came up and it eventually became a head wind. The group worked the pace line to perfection and made great time. Once the riders got into Allentown, Police Officer Joe Iannetta escorted them safely to the Hotel.

Later we held a ceremony at the Allentown Police Headquarters. Chief Roger J. MacLean spoke about our cause and then later was presented with a Engraved Memorial Baton. The Honor Guard for the Allentown PD posted the colors and a wreath was placed at the memorial monument. Captain Schwartz was instrumental in putting together the ceremony. We really appreciate all his work. It was well attended by many members of the Allentown PD.
Today was the final ceremony we are holding before meeting up with all of our other Brother and Sister Officers tomorrow in Florham Park, New Jersey.

SB "the Wrench" Bua fixing a trailer flat
Bruce, Nancy, Tony and Dawn rolling through Kutztown, PA with the local TV filming their arrival.

Fred, SB, Steve and Craig crossing the Susquehanna river...

At the Pennsylvania border with Maryland....

The Mason - Dixon Line at the Maryland border with Pennsylvania...

Rob, Pat, Dennis and Kevin riding through the beautiful countryside, with Tony taking an interesting picture...

There are many forms of riding going on in Pennsylvania...

Friday, May 05, 2006

Day #22 Staunton, VA to Hagerstown, MD

At the Hagerstown, Maryland Police Memorial

Today we began our ride in Staunton Virginia. The first group out consisted of Bruce, Nancy, Tony, Dawn and Scott Bzdak (Culpepper Co Sheriff, VA). The ride was very nice with a slight head wind. Over numerous small rollers the riders went, passing the wonderful Virginia landscape. It was very enjoyable ride.

The second group (Rob, Dennis, SB, Scott and Kevin) started out in the same small rollers with a slight headwind. Scott rode with them for about 25 miles before heading off to work. We rode right into a huge parade day in Winchester, Va. Luckily the local PD got us into town to switch out groups.

The final group (Craig, Pat, Steve and Fred) headed out and through the big party in Winchester, VA. They actually rode in 3 states. Started in VA went through West VA and finished up in Maryland. They had a great ride with perfect weather.

Later the entire team went to Hagerstown PD for the Memorial service. In attendance we several local Sheriff’s Depts. and Local Police Departments. The ceremony went well and we presented a Memorial Baton to Officer Kendal of the Hagerstown Police Dept. It was our 8th Ceremony thus far.

Tomorrow we head to Allentown, Penn. for our final Ceremony and last day before arriving in Florham Park. Everyone is truly excited and more importantly Honored to be so close to completing this endeavor…

The View from Maryland looking towards West Virginia

Craig, Pat, Steve and Fred heading out in the last stretches of Virginia
At the West Virginia border

SB did not want to leave one car and go to another? Huh?
Tony with Dawn, Bruce, Nancy and Scott Bzdak down a hill
Deputy Scott Bzdak riding with us for 70 miles
Kevin thinking about things for the blog tonight...
Dennis, Rob, Scott, Kevin and SB move'n on
CC Rosen and Sons, with the crew who helped us out with the tire we destroyed on the Durango