Law Enforcement United’s annual Road to Hope bicycle ride looked different this year, but it remained deeply meaningful for all who participated. This was my fourth time volunteering to support cyclists on the Road to Hope, which honors law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty and recognizes the survivors left behind.
After a hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic, this year’s ride responded to ongoing restrictions with a shorter and smaller event. Rather than a multi-day ride to Washington, D.C., the Virginia Division held a one-day ride along the Capital Trail with 165 cyclists participating. The Capital Trail is a dedicated, paved bicycle and pedestrian path that follows the James River from Jamestown to Richmond, crossing four counties and encompassing nearly 52 miles. On the Road to Hope, each cyclist and volunteer wears a black remembrance band to honor an officer lost in the line of duty. It is a powerful reminder of the risk associated with working in law enforcement and the important role of public safety in our communities.
As a volunteer this year, I was part of one of the Division’s five food teams. We set up a stationary snack and drink station along the route, handing out snacks, cold water, and Gatorade as the riders passed by. We also cleaned up the final assembly area after dinner, which was provided by a local church. Although this year was very different – fewer days and riders, no gathering and candlelight vigil in Washington, D.C. – it was still fulfilling to be able to hug a survivor and to know that the long hours supported their experience.
To learn more about Law Enforcement United and the groups supported by their efforts, please visit https://www.leunited.org/.
Dan Walker, AIA, DBIA is a principal and key leader in our Public Safety practice with more than 40 years of experience. As a retired lieutenant from the Portsmouth Auxiliary Police Unit, he believes public service has immeasurable value and seeks to give back whenever possible. To learn more about LEU, our Public Safety practice, or to speak with Dan, please call 757.455.5800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.