Day 6 is Dedicated to Assistant Engineer Mike French
We left the lodge at 8 a.m. and rode out of Jacksonville with an escort. We were glad to have the escort. The Jacksonville Police Department kept all the riders safe. Eventually, the escort was transferred to Nassau County Sheriff’s Office. The ride was flat and fast. All riders felt strong during the day. Our estimated mileage was 60 miles but the total mileage turned out to be 84 miles. This came to be a surprise to most of the riders but we focused on what we were riding for and completed the mileage.
The last obstacle that the Brotherhood Ride faces for the day was the Jekyll Island bridge. During every stop of the day all local firefighters commented on how high the bridge was going to be. While riding towards the bridge it appeared huge! We were later told it was 200 feet in elevation and approximately 2 miles long. As the Brotherhood Ride approached the bridge we were met with a strong head wind and light rain. All 19 riders reached the top of the bridge. Most of the firefighters needed every ounce of determination and dedication to reach the top of the bridge.
At the bottom of the bridge we were met by Brunswick firefighters who congratulated us on completing the bridge. They then escorted the Brotherhood Ride into the city and to the Elks Lodge.
At the Lodge we were greeted by Exalted Ruler T. J. Williams and the Mayor of the city. The Mayor presented the Brotherhood Ride with the key to the city. The Exalted Ruler presented us with a donation from the Lodge and in return we presented a Thank You plaque to the Elks Lodge.
All the riders still feel strong. Every time we stop and meet with our brother firefighters and police officers along the route our resolve is renewed making us stronger for the next day.