Today I rode to honor some very important Heroes. The first two were officers from the Costa Mesa Police. I remember this story as it made national headlines 25 years ago. Two police helicopters from neighboring communities crashed in mid-air, sending one of the helicopters to the ground after shearing off it’s blades. Officers Dave Ketchum and John Libolt died in that crash. I rode for nearly five hours with their names on The Kindness Bicycle. The response was amazing as many motorists stopped at lights and pedestrians expressed their gratitude for the tribute to my ride and memories of that day. The memories of the sacrifice these two officers made in the line of duty is still alive after nearly a quarter century.
In Newport Beach, I rode to honor Officer Bob Henry during the afternoon hours today. This story made national headlines as well as this 1995 shooting of officer Henry was followed by the shooters suicide. What a senseless waste. Two other officers from Newport Beach have died in the line of duty in recent years, Officer Marshall and Sergeant Van Horn.
A wonderful article was written about my rides today in The Daily Pilot by Lauren Williams, with some great images captured by Photo Editor Don Leach.
****With all of this said and with all of the incredible responses I received during my double ride today, I would be remiss in not reporting the following;
While on my morning ride, I pedaled past a group of three men who appeared to be exchanging money for a bag of something. They did not really see me or The Kindness Bicycle. On my way past that same corner, about an hour later, the man who was taking the money was standing with a different individual. I always ride cautiously and without making eye contact in situations such as these. This time The Kindness Bicycle was spotted. They had time to read the sign that reads, Riding for Police and Firefighters killed in the line of duty, I could hear them reading the sign aloud. Their response? They laughed hysterically.
The Kindness Bicycle Ride for Heroes is not only to honor Heroes, but it is to hopefully teach all of us, especially children, who the real Heroes are in our society.
Please help to teach all children who the real Heroes are, before individuals like these somehow convince, or try to convince, our children to look to them for (mis)guidance.