(WTNH) — Just after 7am Monday morning, six men jumped on their bicycles in Waterford to get ready for something they’ve been training for since the Spring: The Tour de Force.

Organizer, Greg Swanson, explained that the event originated with 7 New York City Police Officers that rode from the Pentagon to Ground Zero in 2002.

The event has been held every year since 2002 and has grown from the original 7, to 250 riders from around the country.

35 of those cyclists are from Connecticut, doing what they do best: helping others. 

“Many of us are either police officers, – active or retired – or friends of police officers, or family members, so we’ve got a very tight group getting together with people of similar interests trying to help and support those that were lost doing the job that we’ve done for so long is very meaningful for us. It’s a no-brainer after being involved in law enforcement for 28 years; it’s just something you want to do “

– LJ Fusario, Groton Police Chief, Tour de Force rider

Last year these guys from southeastern Connecticut raised more than $100,000.00.

The grueling ride from New York to Boston can really test these riders, but they try to keep it all in perspective.

Tim Bently, another rider, explained, “When you’re actually out there riding and your’e struggling…maybe going up a good incline…you just think, ‘somebody died and that’s what I’m raising this money for’. It gives you that little extra push to get you up to the top of that hill and get you to keep going.”