Law enforcement cyclists raise money for Tour de Force

Law enforcement members from the North Country approach Boston during the 2013 Tour de Force bike ride.

Law enforcement members from the North Country approach Boston during the 2013 Tour de Force bike ride.

— Even as a new wave of snow barrels down on the North Country, current and retired law enforcement officers are already tuning up their bicycles for a summer of riding and fund raising for this summer’s annual Tour de Force ride.

Tour de Force was started in 2002 by members of the NYPD who decided to ride their bikes as a way to raise money for law enforcement officers killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. The four day bike ride from Washington to New York City typically culminates with a ride to the Ground Zero memorial by teams of cyclists made up of law enforcement members from around the world.

“I can do my bike ride for guys who can’t,” says retired New York State Trooper Bob Cronin, who is currently training for his sixth Tour de Force ride. “It’s just the friends you meet, the friends you make. By my first pedal stroke, I was hooked. It was amazing.”

In 2013, the ride ended at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, also the scene of a terrorist attack during the Boston Marathon earlier in the year.

Last year the Tour de Force ride, including numerous riders from the North Country from numerous agencies, raised $475,000 for officers killed in the line of duty nation-wide. In Boston, the Tour donated $5,000 to the family of slain MIT police officer Sean Collier, and donated $40,000 to the Sean Collier foundation to pay to put an officer through the MIT police academy in Collier’s memory .

Tom Brown, consistently one of the highest fund raisers for the Tour chapter in the North Country, is currently organizing a hypnotist show to raise money for the Tour.

To help Brown with his fundraising, regionally known hypnotist Michael Blaine will be appearing Mar 22 at the Elks Club, 56 Cumberland Ave., Plattsburgh. The “Very Adult hypnotist Comedy Show” starts at 8 p.m., with tickets costing $20. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door, and food and beverages will be available through the Elk’s Club.

Cronin, founder of the Adirondack Garda Cycling Club, is also organizing a 100 mile “century ride,” the Dry Dock 100, for July 19 to benefit Tour de Force. The Dry Dock 100 will begin and end at the venerable Plattsburgh alehouse. Registration for the ride on or before July 1 is $50, and after July 1 is $75. Registration can be completed at www.bikereg.com/Net/dry-dock-100.

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