MIAMI (CBSMiami) — On Friday morning, about two dozen Miami Police officers geared up for a bike ride from coast to coast, all for a good cause.
The officers, who are all part of the department’s Bicycle Response Team, left Bayfront Park around 3:30 a.m. heading to Naples Beach.READ MORE: Shark Bites Florida Man Swimming Near Fishing Line
“110 plus miles,” said Commander Freddie Cruz. “There’s wind, there’s a little bit of rain, but it doesn’t matter.”
The group is making the journey in one day to raise money for the Police Officers Assistance Trust. All of the money raised from Friday’s bike ride will be donated in honor of fallen Miami Police Officer Aubrey Johnson, 28, who died last October after suffering an injury to his right leg.
Officer Johnson’s family met the bikers at Bayfront Park early Friday to help send them off.
“He was just a kind, loving son,” said Officer Johnson’s mom, Deloris Johnson.READ MORE: Man Struck, Killed On I-95 Near Broward Boulevard
“This is a challenge. It’s going to be 110 or 111 miles, but AJ is up above right now and he’s making that wind blow to the west, so we’re in good shape,” said Officer Joe McCrink, who led Friday’s group.
Here is a social media post from McCrink during one of the rest stops during Friday’s ride.
In past years, McCrink has peddled for a purpose in September to raise money for the fight against childhood cancer. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and for years, police officers and first responders have been hitting the road on their bikes riding hundreds of miles in honor of Bella Rodriguez-Torres, who lost her battle to cancer in 2013 when she was only 10 years old.
When the bikers arrive in Naples Beach, Johnson’s family will be presented with a portrait on behalf of the Miami Police Department, the Fraternal Order of Police, Bicycle Response Team, and the artist himself, Jonny Castro.MORE NEWS: Tropical Storm Warning Extended For Northern Gulf Coast Ahead Of Potential Tropical Cyclone Three
Click here if you would like to donate to the POAT.