Cyclists honor fallen officers in annual memorial ride

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —Cyclists hit the road Saturday morning for a good cause.

The 10th annual Law Enforcement Memorial Ride started bright and early at 7 a.m. The proceeds help officers and families in need.

“I did this ride last year – I was one of seven finishers in mighty cold rain,” said Greg Titus, a cyclist. “This is actually only my second time, and I’m looking forward to a much better ride today.”

The ride begins at the Albuquerque Police Department’s headquarters.

“We love the riders! They come from all over and they sign up ahead of time online,” APD Head Chaplain Barbara Tegtmeier said. “Each year we look forward to more and more of them. This year we have about 60 riders, and as we build up after COVID, we will end up with many, many more.”

Cyclists ride all the way to Santa Fe to honor New Mexico law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.

“We go first to Tijeras and they get a little spread out at first,” Tegtmeier said. “Then we have some refreshment and breaks, and then the riders going onto Santa Fe leave. They usually start arriving around 11:30-noon.”

There are six planned stops along the way where officers lost their life.

The honor guard follows the cyclists with wreaths to pay their respects, with a moment of silence.

“That’s fulfilling because those are the guys and women that have paid a really big sacrifice, and their families as well,” Titus said. “It’s a really important thing that we support them after that happens.”

Not only is it a fulfilling experience, but it’s also to raise money for a good cause.

“What we do with the Benevolent Fund is we support officers and their families financially in times of trouble throughout the whole year,” Tegtmeier said.

The ride ends at the New Mexico State Police Training Academy in Santa Fe. Then they’ll get a free ride back to APD headquarters on the Rail Runner.

“It’s a beautiful ride. It’s very well supported as far as organized rides go,” Titus said. “This is probably the safest all year because of the large police presence. Come out next year if you are a long-distance rider!”