BOSTON — Derek Markle has a passion for cycling and typically rides up to 200 miles per week -- and he’s putting those miles to good use.
“This makes me feel positive that I’m helping out other families that have lost so much all because they were doing their job,” he said.
Markle, 52, is a correction officer. He has been with the Massachusetts Department of Correction for 31 years.
When he’s not working, he’s often training for the 20th annual Tour de Force.
The memorial bicycle ride was founded in 2002 to honor victims of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.
It’s evolved into a ride of more than 300 officers biking to raise money for the families of law enforcement officers from across the United States who’ve died doing their jobs.
According to the Officers Down Memorial Page, 172 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty, so far, in 2021.
Last year there were 369 line of duty deaths.
“It’s such a tragedy for those families and knowing with my family if something happened to me, I would hope there would be someone there helping my family out,” Markle said.
Every year the course for the Tour de Force changes.
This year it will begin at Fenway Park on September 10th and finish four days and 250 miles later at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
“I feel proud leaving my state representing us as officers and finishing in a great state like New York and in a stadium where I’m hoping to wear a Red Sox t-shirt and represent our great city of Boston,” said Markle.
This will be the fourth time the ride starts in Boston and ends in New York City.
The Tour de Force has also started in New York City and ended in Boston several times.
If you’re interested in donating to Markle’s ride for charity, click here.
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