With a cow bell ringing and a crowd of more than 400 people cheering, 26 cyclists rode off Saturday morning on a 400-mile bike ride to Washington to "raise awareness for common-sense gun legislation" and to honor 26 children and adults killed by a gunman Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The 26 riders were not deterred by 13 inches of snow that fell Friday and were fortunate to begin their journey with sun and blue skies on a beautiful western Connecticut winter morning. The 26 riders — a number chosen to symbolize the number of shooting victims at the school — call themselves Team 26 and wore green and white apparel, the colors of Sandy Hook school.
Their green jackets bear the message: Hope, Peace, Love.
Accompanied by other cyclists — including Chris McDonnell, whose 7-year-old daughter Grace was one of the victims at the elementary school, and Rep. Chris Himes, D-Conn. — the 26 riders left Newtown's Reed Intermediate School and made a first stop at the Sandy Hook firehouse.