Bicycle ride across Texas honors first responders who died in the line of duty
WACO, Texas (KWTX) -“Never forget.” That’s the motto of the Texas Brotherhood Ride.
Every year, first responders hit the highways of Texas on their bicycles to ride in honor of those they have lost.
This year’s ride is dedicated to 82 law enforcement members and 29 firefighters lost in 2020 in the line of duty.
The Brotherhood Ride kicked off in Houston Sunday. Monday, they rode their bikes through a number of Central Texas towns, going from Bryan-College Station to Waco.
“Knowing that we’re doing it for someone that can not do that now,” Capt. Craig Brouillette with the Baton Rouge Sherriff’s Office said.
“They paid the ultimate sacrifice so I’m doing it for those people.”
The team will travel more than 1,100 miles across the state of Texas to pay tribute to the brothers and sisters listed on their jerseys.
“They will wait a year after an ultimate sacrifice from a police officer or fireman and then that family thinks that we forgot,” Capt. Brouillette said.
“We will call and say we are coming through your town and we are going to honor you a year later. We never forgot. We never forget.”
“Four of the people, the names on the backs of this jersey are friends of mine,” Rob Goldstraw with the Houston Fire Department said.
“They passed away due to COVID or cancer so it’s personal to me now.”
The grueling Texas heat and hilly highways. They say nothing will stop them on their journey to honor their heroes.
“I look at those names,” Capt. Brouillette said.
“I call them angel on my handlebars. I’ll pick a name out and I’ll mention that name and say get me through this hill.”
They aren’t professional cyclists, they are first responders who train hard and carry the names of their backs and bracelets given by the families of the fallen with them.
“It’s really great to pedal across Texas, people wave at us, ask about who we are and just to get the word out about the sacrifices first responders commit.”
They still have long road ahead as they are on day two of their 13 day ride where they will end up in Colorado Springs at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial.
They say if you see them along the road, wave and encourage them to keep on going.
If you would like to donate to their cause and the families who have lost their loved ones, you can head to the Texas Brotherhood Ride website.
2020 Texas Line of Duty Deaths:
82 Law Enforcement members
Causes of Texas Line of Duty Deaths:
71 Covid exposures
22 Medical events
6 Accident responding
3 Struck by a vehicle on scene
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