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Our mini-blogathon to cover the Sandy Hook Ride on Washington continues this morning with Sandy Hook Ride on Washington: Day 2! Rally with Team 26 in Parsippany! by Dave in Northridge

Team 26 (AKA The Sandy Hook Riders) are a mix of professional, top amateur, and masters cyclists from the Northeast. Monte Frank, of Sandy Hook, Connecticut, started Team 26 as a way to deliver a message to Congress demanding common sense gun legislation.

DAY 2 IS UNDERWAY! We had an amazing first day, and have been flying through the Garden State for almost 3 hours. Thank you for all the support, especially our incredible stop in Morristown, NJ. It looks like we will be rolling into Frenchtown Elementary at about 11:30; hope to see all of your bright faces there pushing to reduce gun violence and remembering our beautiful 26. HERE TEAM 26 COMES!
Team 26 is underway on Day 2 - Enroute to Frenchtown, New Jersey
Support the Sandy Hook Ride on Washington at their Facebook Page and follow them on Twitter.

DAY 2 IS UNDERWAY! We had an amazing first day, and have been flying through the Garden State for almost 3 hours. Thank you for all the support, especially our incredible stop in Morristown, NJ. It looks like we will be rolling into Frenchtown Elementary at about 11:30; hope to see all of your bright faces there pushing to reduce gun violence and remembering our beautiful 26. HERE TEAM 26 COMES!

This is how we roll. We're a team! #Newtown2DC twitter.com/MonteFrank1/st…

— Monte Frank (@MonteFrank1) March 10, 2013

Tweet Pic from Monte Frank -
Tweet Pic from Monte Frank - "This is how we roll" - Three Team 26 riders supporting each other up a long hill.
We will be covering the ride again later today, and will be introducing all the riders throughout the blogathon.

Every great team needs a great support crew. "Getting 26 cyclists from the Sandy Hook School to the Capitol safely and trouble free is no easy task, and it requires a lot more than just riders willing to push the pedals for almost 400 miles." Please join us in supporting the enthusiastic crew members riding with Team 26 to Washington.

Sandy Hook Ride on Washington
[The cyclists on Team 26 include] a former US National Team member, Canadian National Team member, Masters National Champion, and State and Regional Champions. Three members of the Team are from Newtown, including Monte Frank, Bill Muzzio and Chris Peck. Two of the riders have children who went to the Sandy Hook School. [Their] team includes parents, teachers, and a Vietnam Veteran. [They] all care deeply about our children and seek reasonable gun control legislation.
Founder of ride, Monte Frank, with congressman Jim Himes and first selectman of Ridgefield, Rudy Marconi at our Ridgefield stop.
Rudy Marconi, Jim Himes, and Monte Frank

Kossack Greg Dworkin reported from the Kick Off Rally yesterday that Congressman Jim Himes would ride with the team for the first leg of the trip, from Newtown to Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Greg Dworkin: The funniest thing at the rally was Elizabeth Esty (our congress critter CT-05) referring to Jim Himes (CT-04 just south of us) as "the Congressman in spandex" which everyone else picked up and mentioned in their speeches.

The "Congressman in Spandex", Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) (center) with first selectman of Ridgefield, Rudy Marconi (left), and founder of the ride, Monte Frank (right) at their Ridgefield stop on Day 1.

Please join us in supporting Sandy Hook Rides on Washington and add our voices to theirs in calling on Congress to pass common sense gun safety legislation. Check out the Team's Facebook page (registration is not required).

Please join us in supporting the Team 26 Riders

Rider #1. Monte Frank, Sandy Hook, Connecticut
Rider #2: Bill Muzzio, Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
Rider #3. Chris Peck, Newtown, Connecticut
Rider #4. John Funk, South Kent, Connecticut
Rider #5. Stephen Badger, Roxbury, Connecticut
Rider #6. Andrea Myers, Danbury, Connecticut
Rider #7. Mike Andrews, Danbury, Connecticut
Rider #8. Tom Officer, Litchfield, Connecticut
Rider #9. Jeremy Brazeal, Manchester, Connecticut
Rider #10. Officer Jeff Silver, Newtown, Connecticut
Rider #11: Matt Baldwin, Redding, Connecticut
Rider #12: Jonathan Lowenstein, North Kingstown, Rhode Island
Rider #13: Lieutenant Gary Lyke, Brookfield, Connecticut
Rider #14: Michael Magur, Newburgh, New York
Rider #15: Andy Officer, Goshen, Connecticut
Rider #16: Fred Thomas, Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Rider #17: Carl Reglar, Mt. Vernon, New York
Rider #18: Wayne Prescott, Litchfield, Connecticut
Rider #19: Kevin Fitzmaurice, Middlebury, Connecticut
Rider #20: Megan Cea, West Harrison, New York
Rider #21: Brian Suto, Oxford, Connecticut
Rider #22: Matt Emeott, Woodbury, Connecticut
Rider #23: John Ford, West Harrison, New York
Rider #24: Aidan Charles, Middletown, Connecticut
Rider #25: Heather Peck, Newtown, Connecticut
Honorary Team Rider #26: Chris McDonnell, Sandy Hook, Connecticut

In the profiles below, Riders 1 - 9 express why they are riding to Washington to promote common sense gun safety legislation. Join us in supporting them on their Facebook pages, by following Team 26 on Twitter, and by calling your Representatives and Senators to advocate for common sense gun safety legislation. The rest of the team will be profiled tomorrow and Tuesday.

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Rider #1: Monte Frank, Sandy Hook, Connecticut.Here is my daughter getting on the bus for her 1st day of 1st Grade at Sandy Hook Elementary School (Sept. 2007).
Monte Frank's daughter - 1st day of 1st Grade (Sept. 2007).
Rider #1: Monte Frank, Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

WHY I RIDE?

I am riding because I want to live in a country where parents don't have to worry about putting their kids on the bus in the morning. "Some say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." Here is my daughter getting on the bus for her 1st day of 1st Grade at Sandy Hook Elementary School (Sept. 2007).

Who is this? Is this Monte Frank on his bike?
Monte Frank
I started Team 26 as a way to deliver a message to Congress demanding common sense gun legislation. I look[ed] forward to introducing the rest of Team 26 over the course of the [next few] weeks, starting with our Sandy Hook and Newtown riders.

Peace

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Monte Frank's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

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Follow Monte Frank on Twitter:

"Monte - Did you ride here?""No, Senator. Next time."Senator Blumenthal will send us off from the Reed... fb.me/ApYLrlkm— SHRoW (@SHROW_2013) March 3, 2013

Monte - Did you ride here?
"Monte - Did you ride here?"  Monte Frank shaking hands with Senator Blumenthal (D-CT)
https://www.facebook.com/...

Sandy Hook Ride on Washington

"Monte - Did you ride here?"
"No, Senator. Next time."

Senator Blumenthal will send us off from the Reed School at 8:30 this Saturday and greet us when we arrive at the Capitol at 1:00 on March 12th. Make your plans to join us and show America the Connecticut Effect. We are Newtown and we demand stronger laws to reduce gun violence! — with Monte Frank, Richard Blumenthal and Senator Richard Blumenthal at Senate Judiciary Hearings on the Assault Weapons Ban.

Rider #2: Bill Muzzio - Daughters at Sandy Hook Elementary School
Rider #2: Bill Muzzio - Daughters at Sandy Hook
Rider #2: Bill Muzzio, Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

WHY I RIDE?

This ride is very personal to me. My heart is broken for the families and victims of this senseless tragedy on innocent children. I’m riding on Team 26 to demand a change. This cannot be allowed to happen again in any other community.

We moved our family to Sandy Hook because it was safe. Our daughters have the best memories of their years at Sandy Hook Elementary. They got on their bus every morning wanting to go to school. I want Newtown to be remembered for what we did to overcome this horrific tragedy and not what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. I'm proud and honored to be part of such a great cause. I want to be a hero for my girls and make their world a safer place to live.

This picture was taken at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Peace
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Bill Muzzio's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

Rider # 3. Chris Peck, Newtown, Connecticut

WHY I RIDE?

As a longtime Newtown resident, I naïvely believed my town was safe from some of the violence and tragedy that I saw in the rest of the world. I now realized that no place is immune, but I want to demand a change that I believe will reduce the chances of other communities having to go through this heartbreak. My two children go to a different Newtown elementary school just a mile from the Sandy Hook school, and their loss of innocence when having to deal with this terrible event has motivated me to try to make a difference for the future. My hope is that positive change can help to honor those lost.

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Chris Peck's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

Rider # 4: John Funk - Sandy Hook Rides on Washington (with Max Enis)
Rider # 4: John Funk (with Max Enis)
Rider # 4: John Funk, High School Math Teacher, South Kent, Connecticut

WHY I RIDE?

To send a message.

The tragedy at Sandy Hook School struck a nerve. Actually, there are lots of issues that bother me involving this unfortunate incident, but gun violence has to be at the top of my list. As a teacher (only a few towns over from Newtown, CT), it is my job to develop those young minds ... and how we're all connected. In order to live in a more peaceful world, we need to take a harder look at reasonable laws to reduce gun violence.

The one thing about the tragedy at Sandy Hook, is that it DID bring people together. People were asking some really hard questions. One question: Are we pleased with the laws in placed to reduce gun violence? As a teacher, I would like to send a message saying ... it could be better. A lot better.

Too many innocent people have died because of gun violence. It's time for a change. It's time to live more as a community working together towards a common place: worldwide peace. This is something I teach to all of my students. I ride to represent the teachers and students of Newtown and the entire world.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
John Funk's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

Rider #5: Stephen Badger - Sandy Hook Ride on Washington - Core Values
Rider #5: Stephen Badger - Core Values
Rider #5: Stephen Badger, Roxbury, Connecticut

WHY I RIDE?

This picture represents the Core Values taught at my wife's school.

As a very fortunate man who is married to a School Psychologist, I am humbled and honored to ride for the school educators. The tragedy of Sandy Hook has made me even more aware of schools, students, educators and safety.

I ride for the past, present and future educators who make a difference every single day in teaching, protecting, giving to and caring about the students in such an unconditional manner. I applaud their time and dedication, both during school and with after school activities. I want to recognize the administrators, teachers, specials teachers, paraprofessionals, tutors and specialists who have robustly dedicated their lives and careers to children.

I fondly recollect my elementary school/middle school/high school teachers who taught children to believe in themselves, inspired future decisions, guided children to be both proactive and responsible with their endeavors and encouraged them to respect the privilege of education. I want to thank them for their courage in teaching, protecting and shaping our future.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stephen Badger's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

Rider #6: Andrea Myers, Danbury, Connecticut
Rider #6: Andrea Myers, Danbury, Connecticut
Rider #6: Andrea Myers, Danbury, Connecticut

WHY I RIDE?

I lost one of my closest friends to gun violence 5 years ago. The pain and sadness I experienced comes back each time a shooting is in the news. The shootings in Sandy Hook hit too close to home. My friends and co-workers have children who go to SHS. My heart aches for the residents of Newtown and all who have been affected by this tragedy.

I ride to deliver a message to Congress that these tragedies must never be repeated. Now is the time to enact common sense laws to prevent gun violence. I ride in memory of my friend and I ride for Newtown.

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Andrea Myers' Cycling Record at USA Cycling

Rider #7: Mike Andrews - Teaching Music - Sandy Hook Rides on Washington
Rider #7: Mike Andrews - Teaching Music
Rider #7: Mike Andrews, Music Teacher, Danbury, Connecticut

WHY I RIDE?

When the events at Sandy Hook unfolded, I watched the media reports from my neighboring town and found it difficult to view entire news clips. As a parent of little kids and as a teacher in Danbury, I didn’t want to believe it. I had to turn off the TV because I kept seeing faces of parents just like me. I kept seeing children and students just like mine and like many of you, I felt it could have been my family or my students, or my fellow teachers. I continually shook my head in disbelief. I had to do something to help prevent this from happening again, anything to show that I support my neighbors, my friends and my colleagues.

I am joining my fellow cyclists to support common sense gun safety laws and bring awareness to the faults in our mental health system. I am also riding to honor the first responders, the victims and their families of this horrific event. I want them to know I grieve with them and I stand with them. My hope is that our country can move forward as a cohesive unit with compassion and balanced understanding to make progress and the improvement that is needed.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mike Andrews' Cycling Record at USA Cycling

Rider #8: Tom Officer - Sandy Hook Rides on Washington
Tom Officer
Rider #8: Tom Officer, Litchfield, Connecticut

WHY I RIDE?

I’m riding as a father, who cannot imagine the pain of losing a child.

I’m riding as a husband, who cannot imagine the sorrow of losing one’s spouse or partner.

I’m riding as a neighbor, who cannot imagine what Sandy Hook has been through.

I’m riding as an American, who cannot imagine seeing our country continue to go through these episodes of gun violence.

I’m riding as a cyclist, who cannot imagine any other way to express my pain and anger over the Sandy Hook tragedy.

And last, I’m riding as a human being, who cannot imagine not trying in some way to leave this earth a better place than when I came in.

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Tom Officer's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

Rider #9: Jeremy Brazeal - Sandy Hook Ride on Washington &nbsp;
Rider #9: Jeremy Brazeal
Rider #9: Jeremy Brazeal, Manchester, Connecticut

WHY I RIDE?

I ride because I now believe the reason I got back into racing 4 years ago after 14 years off the bike was for this cause.

I ride because I never want to forget the frantic text messages from my mother. She was telling me that my sister's school in Monroe (where she teaches) was on lockdown, and that a school shooting took place, but she did not know where.

I ride to chase the knot out of my stomach that has remained since the second I heard that teachers and children (the ages of my two youngest) had lost their lives.

I ride, because the truth is, children are in the care of others for half their lives and we cannot be there to protect them.

I ride for the families that are grieving over the loss of their children. I ride because they are our children too. As Americans we have all lost someone, because it truly takes a nation to raise a child.

I ride because I do not want to see a future where schools are a war zone and not a safe haven. I ride because I want our educators to focus on being better teachers and not armed guards.

I ride because I am tired of people on both sides of the gun safety issue taking extreme stances while nothing gets done. The walls these individuals are building would surely crumble under the weight of a lost child. I ride because I will not STAND for politics taking the safety of our children and all Americans hostage.

So, I RIDE!

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Jeremy Brazeal's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

Sandy Hook Ride on Washington ~ March 9 - 12

Team 26 is a group of 26 elite cyclists who will ride from Newtown, CT to Washington, DC beginning on March 9 and arriving on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol on March 12.  Along the way, we will stop in Ridgefield, CT, Frenchtown, NJ and Baltimore, MD.  Our goal: to bring Newtown's message to Washington in support of common sense gun legislation.

Please join us as we follow Monte Frank, Peter Olson and the other members of Team 26 as they travel from Newtown, CT to Washington DC.  Embedded blogger Becky Frank (Monte’s daughter) will be providing info and photos from the daily events.

Click here to visit Team 26's Facebook page
Facebook account not required
To add this series to your stream
follow the "Team 26" tag
or follow on Tweeter: SHRoW@SHRoW2013
Saturday 3/9
tytalus ~ Morning kick-off 5:30am EST
LilithGardener ~ "Meet the Crew"
Glen The Plumber ~ Evening Wrap-up

Sunday 3/10
Dave in Northridge ~ Morning Kick-Off
LilithGardener ~ "Meet the Riders" 2pm EDT
DefendOurConstitution ~ Evening

Monday 3/11
LilithGardener ~ "Meet the Riders" 2pm EDT
TBD ~ Evening

Tuesday 3/12
Hey338Too ~ Morning
LilithGardener ~ "Meet the Riders" 2pm EDT
remembrance ~ Evening

Also:
glorificus
times to be determined

2:56 PM PT: There are updates in the comments - except for this one, from Greg Dworkin and the Sandy Hook Ride on Washington

URGENT ACTION ALERT - TEAM 26 NEEDS YOUR HELP OVER THE NEXT 48 HOURS

http://www.dailykos.com/...

3:06 PM PT: Please join us as our mini-blogathon continues and I pass the baton to Defend the Constitution for today's wrap up of the Sandy Hook Ride on Washington.http://www.dailykos.com/...


Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Shut Down the NRA on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), J Town, and VAGV - Veterans Against Gun Violence.

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