California firefighters bike through America for 9/11, stop in Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. — A group of firefighters cycling from California to New York City for the 20th anniversary of 9/11 is making a stop in Tulsa.

Fire Velo is a fire service-based nonprofit cycling organization, participating in rides and charity events throughout the US.

This one is called “Ride for America.”

Eleven firefighters, mostly from southern California, are making the estimated 3200-mile bike ride to raise money for four foundations that dedicate service to first responders and military affected by 9/11. Those foundations include the Gary Sinise Foundation, Fire Family Foundation, San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation, and Friends of Firefighters. The group is hoping to raise $100,000 to donate in all.

They started their journey on August 1, leaving from the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles. Their goal is to be in New York City at ground zero by September 9th.

They ride, on average, 90-100 miles away with very little rest.

“We always throw out the statement ‘never forget,’ but I think over the last 10 years, certainly over the last 20 years as time passes by, people do tend to forget,” Kevin McIntyre said. McIntyre is riding as a reminder to people. “It was a horrible time in the history of America,” he said, “and I think we need to have that refreshing attitude of American spirit again.”

The last few days the group has been in Oklahoma, stopping in Clinton and in Oklahoma City. Saturday, they will make their way to Tulsa.

The Hampton Inn in Downtown Tulsa is hosting the group for the few hours they are here.

“It’s meaningful to us because it’s the 20th year anniversary,” Interim General Manager Stephanie Pomery said about being a part of the cyclists’ journey. “This is such a big part of our history, and it’s special that these cyclists are taking the time to do this.”

You can donate or purchase a commemorative t-shirt on their website www.firevelo.com.