Ready to Ride: Officer Biking to DC for Sandy Rogers - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Ready to Ride: Officer Biking to DC for Sandy Rogers

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Charlotte, NC -

Lieutenant Karl Odenthal has biked hundreds of miles over the past several months to get ready for one long, hilly 250 mile ride.

He's riding in memory of fallen officer Sandy Rogers:  Months ago when asked what Sandy would say.

"The first thing she would tell me is I'm crazy," he laughed.  "She would say, ‘You're going to go 250 miles,'" he speculated.

So what about now when it's finally time to saddle up for Sandy?

"I still think she'd say I was crazy for going the distance," he laughs, "but I think she'd be encouraging as she usually was. I think she'd get a kick out of it."

Odenthal is about to kick it into overdrive:  Wednesday morning he met up with officers from around the country.  They're loading their bikes up and driving from Charlotte to Portsmouth, Virginia.  From there, they will drive in to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C.  This Georgia State Trooper who is riding for the third time says thinking about the fallen officers puts it in perspective.

"At any moment they would love to be in my position and be back with their family and friends and coworkers," says Trooper Crystal Griffin. "So for me, it's easy to do, and even at the hardest moment, it's not that hard."

Special Agent Al Samuels is also a repeat rider.  He says it isn't easy.

"The second day you get up and your legs feel like they're 2,000 pounds each and you have hills in front of you," he says.

Last year he pushed the pedals up those hills for Aiken Public Safety Officer Scotty Richardson, even though they'd never met.

"In a strange way you connect with that department with that family and you also connect with that officer," he says.

Lieutenant Odenthal had years to connect with Officer Rogers--and he says she's been riding with him, helping to push those pedals.

"I've talked to her a bunch while I've been training," he says.  "When I didn't feel like training or it was really cold I would think of sandy and it helped push up the hills."

And that's what's pushing him on the road ahead.

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