More than 200 law enforcement officers arrived by ferry Monday morning to begin the North Fork leg of their 265-mile bicycle ride from Boston to ground zero in Manhattan as part of the 12th annual “Tour de Force” event.
Suffolk County police officer Jim Parker said the 9/11 memorial ride, started by NYPD detective brothers Mike and Rob DePaolis, began with 25 riders and has this year grown to 203.
“We honor officers who were killed in the line of duty and donate to the families themselves, averaging 25 donations per year,” Mr. Parker said of the ride in an interview last week. “It’s a four-day ride and this will be the third time we’re doing Boston to New York,” he added.
The ride began in Boston on Saturday and bikers arrived via Cross Sound Ferry in Orient at 8:30 before they were given a 5-mile Southold Town police escort about 9 a.m.
“I’ve been doing this for nine years now,” Mr. Parker, who has been in law enforcement 28 years, said. “It’s a bonding of brothers and sisters from around the country and the friends you make and relationships you build with the other cops during the ride are life long.”
The bikers were expected to hit the Riverhead town line about 11 a.m., on their way to downtown New York City.
Bikers will be trickling into Manhattan all day Tuesday, Sept. 11.
Check back at suffolktimes.com for a video from the event.