Riders begin bike tour for fallen officers in Chesapeake

WAVY/LaVoy Harrell

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Hundreds of bicyclists began a journey Wednesday morning from Chesapeake to Washington D.C. to support fallen police officers.

The tour started early Tuesday morning in Chesapeake. It will take riders around three days to get to D.C.

Riders from around the nation will gather at the World War II Memorial and raise money for Law Enforcement United, a group that supports families of fallen officers.

The riders will honor 146 law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty last year.

A news release from the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office says 400 members of the group’s Virginia division are partaking in the 250 mile trek. In total, 700 members from 36 states were expected to participate in this year’s event, the sheriff’s office says.

Many of the riders 10 On Your Side spoke with say they are riding for fallen state Trooper Chad Dermyer.

Dermyer lost his life on March 31, 2016 after he was shot and killed while conducting training exercises at a bus station in Richmond. His presence was still felt at the ride. His car was decorated with flowers at the starting line, which was a way for riders to remember why they’re going the extra mile.

Officer Steve Pennington said he is riding for his friend and former colleague.

“We will always live to do this for those have made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Pennington. “I’m always thinking about those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”

His colleague Mike Boucher agrees.

“Our motto says it all. We ride to honor the fallen and remember the survivors.”