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Pikes Peak Fallen Officers Ride

With a full escort by the Colorado Springs Police Department Motorcycle Unit, riders cruise north on Peterson Boulevard during the National Police Week Pikes Peak Fallen Officers Ride on May 19, 2016. Hosted by the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station's 721st Security Forces Squadron, this is the third year of the annual event in remembrance of all fallen police officers; military and civilian. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rob Bussard)

With a full escort by the Colorado Springs Police Department Motorcycle Unit, riders cruise north on Peterson Boulevard during the National Police Week Pikes Peak Fallen Officers Ride on May 19, 2016. Hosted by the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station's 721st Security Forces Squadron, this is the third year of the annual event in remembrance of all fallen police officers; military and civilian. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rob Bussard)

UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- With the Colorado Springs Police Department Motorcycle Unit as their escorts, riders take a break near the chapel during the National Police Week Pikes Peak Fallen Officers Ride on May 19, 2016. Sixty-five riders supported the event this year, riding through all five of the Colorado Springs area military bases, raising money for the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association's Fallen Officer fund.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Rob Bussard)

UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- With the Colorado Springs Police Department Motorcycle Unit as their escorts, riders take a break near the chapel during the National Police Week Pikes Peak Fallen Officers Ride on May 19, 2016. Sixty-five riders supported the event this year, riding through all five of the Colorado Springs area military bases, raising money for the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association's Fallen Officer fund. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rob Bussard)

Scott Deeds, 721st Security Forces Squadron, provides a rider briefing prior to the National Police Week Pikes Peak Fallen Officers Ride here on May 19, 2016. Hosted by the 721st SFS, this is the third year Mr. Deeds has organized the annual event in remembrance of all fallen police officers; military and civilian. This fund is used to assist officers who have been catastrophically injured or killed in the line of duty, with 100% of all donations going directly to the assistance of those officers and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rob Bussard)

Scott Deeds, 721st Security Forces Squadron, provides a rider briefing prior to the National Police Week Pikes Peak Fallen Officers Ride here on May 19, 2016. Hosted by the 721st SFS, this is the third year Mr. Deeds has organized the annual event in remembrance of all fallen police officers; military and civilian. This fund is used to assist officers who have been catastrophically injured or killed in the line of duty, with 100% of all donations going directly to the assistance of those officers and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rob Bussard)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – -- Military and civilian motorcycle enthusiasts alike gathered together here early May 19 for a local group ride to show their support for fallen officers during National Police Week. The ride was to recognize law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.

This was the third annual Pikes Peak Fallen Officers Ride in commemoration of those officers that have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, said event organizer Scott Deeds, 721st Security Forces Squadron.

“We are remembering the civilian officers who have ended their lives answering their last call,” said Deeds. “It’s a great way to remember everybody, military police officers as well, who have walked that ‘Thin Blue Line’ and to show the solidarity of the military and the civilian communities together.”

The ride averages 100 total miles by starting out at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, passing through Fort Carson, then through Schriever and Peterson Air Force bases and the United States Air Force Academy, ending with a burger-burn at CMAFS Mountain Man Park.

With an initial 12 riders in 2014, the event has grown to 65 riders this year along with 16 members of the Colorado Springs Police Department Motorcycle Unit performing escort duties. The motor unit ran cover with full lights and sirens during the ride, safely stopping all vehicle traffic along the entire route.

“We are here to escort you guys safely and to honor those fallen officers,” Motor Officer Gary Tedeschi said. During a pre-ride safety briefing, Tedeschi stated the importance of riders keeping a safe yet tight formation and remaining in proper lane position as they were being passed by their escorts.

Brandon Lowe is an intake and release specialist at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center who along with his friend Zachary Stephens, attended the ride for his second year.

“It’s an amazing experience having a police escort throughout all the bases,” Lowe said. “But then also having that time of silence to think and reflect, realizing that this is something that police officers gave their lives for. We’re standing for something, not just riding because it’s cool or fun.”

Last year’s ride was a rainy affair, yet 20 riders still showed up and braved the elements to show their support. This year’s weather forecast called for clouds with possible scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon, but fair weather and dry roads prevailed for the day.

“It was a great turnout” said Deeds, who surmised the ride generated over $300, money that would be donated directly to the Pikes Peak Region Peace Officers Memorial.

“The event was very well organized, it ran very smoothly,” Denise Nightingale said about her first experience with the ride. “I think that the police officers escorting us also enjoyed themselves a lot on the ride.”

Many of the participants echoed her sentiments. Smiles and laughs abounded as police officers and their supporters enjoyed their food, chatting and bantering about seeing each other on the road in the future.

Encouraged by the increased turnout and supporting a good cause, Deeds and the Colorado Springs Police Department Motorcycle Unit plan on it again next year too.

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