To create more awareness of cancer affecting firefighters, 25 cyclists from the Fire Velo Cycling Club embarked on the annual week-long San Francisco to Los Angeles Cancer Awareness Ride.
From Sunday, August 17 through 24, the cyclists rode from Sausalito to the Santa Monica Pier in remembrance of fallen Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) Battalion Chief Mark Tolbert and Fire Fighter Specialist John H. Walsh.
Active and retired firefighters, ages 22 to 80 years old, came from all over the world to participate and support this effort. They cycled approximately 500 miles to raise awareness and have so far donated a total of almost $400,000 to help combat cancer in the fire service.
LACoFD Acting Assistant Chief Mike Brown and Battalion Chief Mike McCormick escorted the riders in their final miles, from Fire Station 99 in Malibu to Santa Monica, where family and friends were waiting to congratulate them on their journey. That same day, a closing ceremony was held at the Department’s Lifeguard Division headquarters in Manhattan Beach.
Fire Velo is a nonprofit organization cycling club that aims to promote physical and mental wellness in the fire service. The club was established in 2006 by retired Battalion Chief David “Buck” Buchanan and Fire Fighter Paramedic Jim Berklite.