Tour de Force 2023

This banner honors the heroes we lost in 2022.

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!

Welcome to Miami!
Miami Palms!

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!

Our team enjoys a Sunday Morning warmup ride!
Our warmup ride looking west towards the Port of Miami and Miami proper.
Chip tells his teamates that he has worked up an appetite!
We stopped at a downtown market and got some coffee, Cuban breakfast and a smoothie. This market had a lot to offer including fresh fruit!
This big red Go-Rilla was near the downtown marketplace.
Fruit…..and plenty of it!
Chip and Chris enjoy a cup of Cuban coffee at a street cafe. Shortly after this photo was taken both riders grabbed their cups and ran from the area after they heard what they thought were gunshots nearby. Ironically it was only Moe’s tire experiencing a pinch-flat that exploded causing people in the area to flee for their lives…welcome to Miami!
These fruit stands are awesome!

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!

Rainbows adorned the Pridefest parade route!
Several local Police agencies had their vehicles participate in the Pridefest Parade!
Parade ready!

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!

Welcome to Versailles!
As usual the place was packed!
Cuban desserts fill the display case!
Customers line up at the coffee window to get some freshly brewed Cuban coffee!

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.

The pier out behind the hotel
Pier Pressure!
Sunny Isles…
Someone would like a handout…..
Sunny Isles at night…

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.

Kevin Obrien and Bruce Doras along with a couple of Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders before the start of day 1.
The Honor Guard presented the colors prior to the start of day 1.
Armbands honoring our fallen heroes were worn by riders and exchanged before the start of every ride.
Tallahassee Police Department Officer Chris Fariello’s parents were present for the start of the ride. They are wonderful people and it was an honor for all of us to spend time with them.
The riders from the Tallahassee Police Department wore Chris Fariello’s photo pinned to their jersey’s in his honor.
Our team prior to the ride.
A cyclist has attached these photos to her bike of three heroes who are no longer with us.
Police Motorcycles are lined up ready to begin the escort.
A helicopter flies overhead to start the ride.
Riders Up!
And so it begins!
The reason we ride is always on our minds…
The tour from above…
This year’s challenge coin
The riders in front of the Fort Pierce PD
Our mechanic stayed busy…
Ride on…
This 10 year old Parrot keeps a close eye on things…
Many thanks to the Motormen!
We couldn’t do it without them!
Rey, Scott, and David
Chip explains how it all went down…
Our Motorcycle escorts did an incredible job all week long!

Fuel tanks on Police Motorcycles were works of art…
This Statue of an Officer greeted riders as they rode into the Fort Pierce Police Department
Another Causeway just south of Daytona Beach
This Sea Turtle came up to greet riders on the last stop of the tour!
As the ride ended 270 miles later riders and support staff were treated to Pizza, BBQ and this beautiful cake that summed it all up..

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.