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  • Bike ride honors fallen officer

    Bike ride honors fallen officer

    67 mile bike ride honors Craig Birkholz

    Updated: Saturday, 04 Jun 2011, 10:13 PM CDT



    FOND DU LAC - 67 miles, all done to honor a fallen Fond du Lac police officer.

    Saturday was the first annual "Birky Challenge" bike ride in memory of Officer Craig Birkholz.

    Birkholz was shot and killed during a stand off in March.

    Another officer was injured along with his police dog. Both have since recovered.

    Birkholz's family says Saturday's turnout was truly touching.

    More than 300 bikers cruised through Fond du Lac and Sheboygan Counties, all to honor a fallen comrade, relative and friend - Officer Craig Birkholz.

    "It means a lot," said Officer Birkholz's brother, Paul Birkholz. "It honors him and you know carries his name, and carries the Fond du Lac name, the team. It's pretty special."

    A group of Fond du Lac Police officers organized the 67 mile "Birky Challenge." Why 67 miles? That's Birkholz's badge number.

    Although that's quite a trek on two-wheels, coordinators had a few inspirational markers along the way to get the riders through.

    "We had his motto, stay safe, stay strong, stay positive," explained Fond du Lac Patrol Officer, Edward Wenzel. "We had half sheets of that so as you climbed a hill, as the hill got hard, you had different motivational markers along the way to keep you going. At 4 different points we had a picture of Craig going, keep peddling, good job."

    Officers from surrounding police departments were among the riders, but the majority were Birkholz's fellow officers. That included officer Ryan Williams, who was severely injured during the stand-off in March.

    But he is now officially back on his feet.

    "It's been a long journey, it's been very rewarding to be here now and you know, there are good things to come in the future," said Williams.

    Although there were a few tired faces at the finish line, everyone said it was worth it.

    "It was rough, a lot of hills, we expected it, but we all did it on our mountain bikes, work bikes, and it was a good workout for a good cause," said Milwaukee Police Officer, Matt Wenzel.

    And Birkholz's family believes this won't be the last ride in honor of their beloved son, husband and brother.

    "It's probably the first of many to come, so it's really neat," Paul Birkholz said.

    Organizers hope to raise $20,000 through the bike ride. The money will go toward a Law Enforcement college scholarship.

    Officer Williams will be back to full duty on Sunday.
    There are certain crimes that are simply too cruel, too sadistic, too hideous to be forgiven.”
    ― John E. Douglas, Journey Into Darkness.

    6 Things you don't mess with.
    MY FAITH

    MY FAMILY

    MY FLAG

    MY COUNTRY

    MY HONOR AND THE THIN BLUE LINE

  • #2
    I didn't have the opportunity to do the Birky Challenge, but it's certainly going to be a yearly thing for me. I'm glad to hear Williams has recovered so fast. When all of this happened, it was being said he wouldn't return until later in the summer. I hope Grendel is just as healed as his handler so the team can go back at the same time.

    RIP Craig.
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