The California firefighters cycling to New York City for the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks trekked across the North Coast Tuesday as part of their 3,300-mile journey.
The group of riders, who left California July 24, started their day Tuesday in Toledo. Throughout the day they rode across Northern Ohio through Medina County and into Akron before riding through Cuyahoga Falls and Stow into Kent.
The firefighters for the night before continuing on their journey to Pittsburgh and, eventually, New York City. They plan to arrive in New York City on Sept. 9 and finish the ride at the FDNY Firefighters Wall.
Kent native Adam Loeser helped arrange the overnight stop in his hometown, which he said gave one of the warmest — and biggest — welcomes to the group so far.
"An incredible reception and cooperation from Kent all the way out to Medina," Loeser said. "Fire departments, police departments, governments, communities — incredible. It's very reminicscent of what happened post-9/11 when everybody was lending a hand to each other."
Police and firefighters in Cuyahoga Falls, Stow and Kent gave the group an escort through all three communities as they made their way across Northeast Ohio.
James Landon, a longtime friend of Loeser, drove up from his Columbus home Tuesday to help arrange the arrival in Kent.
"It means everything to them" when they get a welcome reception in a community, Landon said.