Blessed to have had the opportunity to honor our fallen brothers who gave their all for their communities in 2022.
The Tour de Force is a 270 mile bike ride which begins in North Miami and ends five days later in Daytona Shores. The ride is to raise funds and to honor those Law Enforcement Officers who died in the line of duty during the past year. Unfortunately, we lost 11 Heroes last year.
It was a great ride for a great cause. It was a privilege to have been a part of it.
Our journey began on Saturday as our team left Tallahassee and drove to Daytona where we picked up a couple more cyclists and their gear and headed to Miami. Twas’ a long ride, but we were excited as we knew we had a great event awaiting. Welcome to Miami!
The morning of the second day (Sunday) is spent on a “warm up” ride from Coral Gables back up to Sunny Isles. Always a beautiful ride, this year’s warm up ride was no exception! Once again, we found ourselves riding north up US 1 in South Beach just prior to the Pridefest parade! This was a very well attended event. We rode up the parade route with no interference from Police assigned to work the event!
After breakfast we continued our ride north into and thru South Beach. Little did we know today was the annual Pridefest Parade! The event was very well attended and we found ourselves riding north on the mile long parade route just minutes before the parade was to begin!
After the warm-up ride and a swim in the Atlantic out behind the hotel, we showered and loaded up and headed to one of the trip highlights…dinner at Versailles! Versailles is an incredible Cuban Restaurant in Little Havana. The food is over the top and we have looked forward to this dinner since the last time! This restaurant is the hub of Cuban politics in South Florida and it is said that the Bay of Pigs invasion was decided in a back room at Versailles. If you are ever in the area, do yourself a favor and visit this place, you will thank me later!
After dinner we returned to the hotel and went out to the pier out back. Lots of people were fishing and I saw a Pompano and a Mackerel caught. Lots of excitement when these fish were reeled in, not so much by the fisherman who caught them but by the crowd gathered.
After a good night’s sleep, we got up early and headed to the North Miami Police Department where the ride began. A large crowd had gathered to get the ride started. Once again it was very humbling to think of why we were there.
The 2023 Tour de Force Ride is in the books. The tour did an outstanding job honoring the 11 fallen heroes that we lost in 2022. Participating in this ride was a true honor for all who were involved. It would be great to say that this will be the last ride but deep down inside we all know that it won’t be…and sadly next year we will ride again. Never forget that the reason for this amazing event are the Heroes who stood in the gap and sacrificed their lives so that the rest of us can safely enjoy all that this great State and Country have to offer.
Officer Ray Hamilton Officer Jose Perez
Officer Brian Golden Officer Echy Echaverry
Officer Kyle Patterson Officer Jorge Arias
Officer James McWhorter Deputy Michael Hortwick
Officer Chris Fariello Deputy Blane Lane
Deputy Chris Taylor K9 Drago
K9 Blue K9 Max
God Bless You and Your Families.