JOPLIN, Mo. — This year marks two decades since 9-11. The day that changed history. It changed the professions of many, some went into military service, some became devoted to service as police officers or firefighters. For some years now a group of firefighters have traversed the country each summer raising money for firefighter charities.

Joplin is a stopping point for this year’s group of firefighters, bicycling across America. Joplin Firefighters and members of Local 59 welcomed them to Joplin for the night.

15 firefighters from Los Angeles to New York, marking the 20th year of the September 11th, 2001, attacks. The 40 Day cycling event will cover approximately 3,100 miles, over 101,482 feet of climbing and pass through 14 states with stops at numerous fire departments and communities along the way. Riders will arrive in New York, NY on September 9th, 2021.

The riders are a dedicated group of active and retired fire service cyclists. All funds raised through Fire Velo’s Ride For America will help provide financial assistance to fire and military service-based groups and causes. Their goal is $100,000.

Today they are riding 123.1 miles taking about 6-7 hours depending on weather, flat tires and hill climbing arrival should be late afternoon into Joplin. The first three riders arrived around 4 p.m. and then the others came in the next hour and a half.

The riders are from departments from California, Colorado, Washington, New York, and many other states. They say they ride in, “remembrance of those lives lost on that fateful morning 20 years ago. We ride as well for the many lives lost to cancers or illnesses caused by the fall-out debris inhaled by first responders during the search for the thousands of victims from September 11th.”

We are riding to bring awareness to firefighter job related cancers and mental wellness of the fire service. Firefighter job related cancers have increased greatly in the past years. We are riding for the severely wounded veterans of our nation. Many of the severely wounded veterans need adapted homes to ease the everyday burdens of completing basic tasks while enduring rehabilitation to achieve normalcy. We are riding to raise funds and honoring those who sacrifice for our freedoms and safety.” – FIRE VELO

Fire Velo is a 501(c)3 nonprofit cycling club organization. Fire Velo is committed to supporting many great causes and organizations within our fire and military service families. Donations can be made at

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