INDIANA (WFIE) - A group of law enforcement men and women continued on a 13 day bike ride across Indiana on Tuesday.
They’re showing support for families who lost loved ones in the line of duty.
When you see the Cops Cycling for Survivors Support truck role into town you get one picture, a big truck full of snacks, drinks, and equipment to make a quick bike repair on the road.
It’s emblazoned with five pictures of officers who lost their lives in the line of duty this past year.
A moving reminder of the reason for these men and women bike nearly 900 miles in the 13 days, but as you get closer you can read some of the personalized messages written in permanent marker on the side of the truck, you get a different picture entirely.
“It really does hit home. When you look at what people say, what it means to them," said Jim Mendez, a former FBI agent out of Indianapolis.
Kyle Tevault, a detective with the Warrick County Sheriff’s department described that sentiment in four words: “Extremely gratifying, rewarding, humbling."
For each of these riders, the 13 day journey is filled with as much reflection as it is filled withe peddling, each mile a reminder about the brothers and sisters that can’t be there to join them.
“We believe in the mission,” Mendez said. “The mission is to make sure that their officers are never forgotten.”
“More than anything it’s knowing why," said Tevault. "You’re doing it for the right reasons knowing that the pain and suffering you’re going through is nothing compared to what the survivors and families and co-workers and friends of the loved one that was killed in the line of duty is going through.”
The for Mendez and Tevault, the opportunity to interact with the survivors puts a new meaning behind the event...and creates bonds that will last a lifetime.
“I tell a lot of the survivors that we ride with them in our hearts. Whether it’s today, tomorrow, or ten years from now. I’m never gonna forget this experience, we as a group are never going to forget this experience," Mendez said. "We’re never going to forget their officers.”
Those cyclists will head to Jeffersonville on Wednesday before turning north and making their way through Madison, Bloomington, and back into Indy on Saturday.