Editor's note: Centreville resident Kevin Whalen has been sharing his experience , a 220-mile bike ride from Richmond to Washington, D.C. He rode in honor of Virginia Tech's Officer Deriek Crouse, who died after being shot on campus last December.
Saturday, May 12, Warrenton, VA to Centreville to Washington, D.C.
Hills: A lot
Calories burned: 3,950
Average speed: 22 miles per hour
Highest speed: 36 (down a big hill)
Slowest speed: 7 (up a big hill)
Weather: Awesome, Sunny 75, little wind
Total miles: 233.06 (but who's counting)
Total calories: 15,668 (I'm counting)
On Saturday, May 12, we left Warrenton at 8 a.m. on a perfect biking weather day. Thanks for the prayers on great weather. We beat all the hills of Virginia, and the last hill of the ride on Independence Avenue in D.C. next to the Capitol. Coming through Centreville was incredible. So many of my friends, neighbors and relatives, and my Boy Scouts with flags waving, from Route 29 near the rock quary, to the top of Centreville. I couldn't help yelling out "You can do it," "We can do it," "We did it." I had so many goosebumps it was numbing. Awesome feeling.
We pedaled our bikes with all our 1,400 riders into the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial at 1:30 p.m. Supporters and survivors lined the street of the Memorial and the Memorial grounds to cheer us on, high-fives, and thanks.
The total amount of money we raised in PUT nationally is $1.65 million for the benefit of the memorial, in honor of 163 of our fallen law enforcement officers! Awesome feeling to be a part of this great cause. My Virginia chapter raised $140,000 of the total, and many of you helped me raise $10,000 of the total. Great feeling.
Last night was the candlelight vigil at the memorial with thousands of law enforcement and survivors of our fallen. Each PUT rider met with each survivor and presented their PUT rider bracelet in honor and remembrance of their loved one. Our ride and purpose was complete, bringing our fallen officers' spirit to their engraved name on the Memorial walls, joining over 19,000 of their fellow fallen officers. This experience is huge for each of us. It's hard to describe the feelings and emotions we feel and go through. It's all good. It's special.