A group of bicyclists are hitting the road in Newtown on Friday in memory of the lives lost from the Sandy Hook shooting.

Newtown’s Team 26 started the day with a quick trip to church, before the long ride ahead in cold, wet weather.

“We’re probably going to hit a ton of rain, but the spirit of today and faith leaders and the people coming out will keep us warm,” said Team 26 organizer Monte Frank.

Team 26 refers to the 26 children and educators killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December of 2012. 26 experienced bicylcists are going to ride hundreds of miles over the next few days.

Their mission is to bring attention to America’s gun laws, specifically regarding assault weapons, and to stop hate and increase peace, hope, and love. 

Related: New school named for Sandy Hook victim breaks ground in Bloomfield

This year, instead of going to Washington, they will head as far south as Baltimore, and then hang a right go most of the length of the state of Pennsylvania to end up in Pittsburgh.

“If you look at what’s happened in Washington, nothing has happened,” Frank said. “So while Washington remains in paralysis, we’re going to head to Pittsburgh and unite the Sandy Hook and Squirrel Hill Community in Pittsburgh.”

They will finish their ride Wednesday at the Tree of Life synagogue where a gunman with an assault rifle killed 11 people and injured seven last October.

Team 26 will get there on Wednesday, bringing sympathy from a town that knows all about that kind of loss. Freshman Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (D-5th District) was there to see them off.

“What I find is people have to find out what they’re good at and use that as a vehicle to do the work, and these bikers are doing just that,” Hayes said.

And it will be work. Six states, 600 miles, and a big mission – pass what they consider common sense gun control laws.

“You know, we think that we’ve got to change the culture, and if the culture changes, Washington will follow,” said Frank.

Below is the full schedule:

April 26 – Newtown, CT to Morristown, NJ – 107 miles

·         Trinity Episcopal Church Service, 36 Main Street, Newtown, CT, 8 am to 9 am

·         Ridgefield Bicycle Shop Meet & Greet, 88 Danbury Rd, Ridgefield, CT, 10- 10:30 am

·         Peekskill, NY (location TBD), 12-1 pm

·         Morristown, NJ Rally, Town Hall, 200 South Street, 5 pm. 

April 27 – Morristown, NJ to King of Prussia, PA – 123 miles

·         Morristown, NJ Send-Off, Town Hall, 200 South Street, 7:45.

·         Trenton, NJ Rally, City Hall, 319 E. State Street, 11:30 – 1.

·         Philadelphia Rally, Temple University Louis Katz School of Medicine, 3500 North Broad Street, 3-4 pm

·         Abington Friends School,  575 Washington Ln, Jenkintown, PA, 4:45- 6 pm. Tribute to Team 26’s David Hoyle, who died in a mountain bike accident April 1, 2019, in Wadsworth Falls State Park.

April 28 – – King of Prussia, PA to Baltimore, MD –  96 miles

·         St. Paul’s Baptist Church, Meet & Greet in tribute to Bianca Roberson, 1 Hagerty Blvd, West Chester Church, 9- 9:30 am.

·         University of Delaware Rally, ISE building 221 Academy St., Newark, DE, 11 -12 pm.

·         Baltimore City Hall Press Conference, 4-5 pm.

April 29 – Baltimore, MD – Rest Day / Community Service

April 30 – Baltimore, MD to Chambersburg, PA – 93 miles

·         Gettysburg Rally, Seminary Ridge Museum Peace Portico, 111 Seminary Ridge, 2-3 pm

May 1 – Chambersburg, PA to Somerset, PA – 126 miles

·         Flight 93 National Memorial, Shanksville

May 2 – Somerset, PA to Pittsburgh, PA – 68 miles

·         Tree of Life Synagogue Stop, 2:45 pm.

·         Pittsburgh Rally, Sixth Presbyterian Church, 1688 Murray Avenue, 3-4 pm.

For more information, click the link: www.team26.org.