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Cyclists' 9/11 Tribute Nears Gwinnett

DULUTH -- A team of cyclists representing law enforcement and military groups from across the Southeast made headway toward Duluth on Wednesday as part of the fifth annual Honor Ride in remembrance of Sept. 11 victims.

Rider and Duluth police Lt. Bill Stevens reported the southbound group of 17 had crossed the North Carolina/South Carolina line about 11 a.m. on their 386-mile trek from Ft. Bragg, home of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, to Lake Lanier.

The three-day route will bring the riders to downtown Duluth about noon on Friday. The team will complete the final 22-mile leg to Peachtree Point at Lake Lanier Islands Resort on Saturday, led by several wounded warrior cyclists injured in recent conflicts, Stevens said.

The Honor Ride, launched by Duluth police in 2007, doubles as a tribute to Sept. 11 victims while honoring those "at the tip of the spear," meaning the Special Operations Command, Stevens said.

Each year, leaders choose a different soldier and service branch to honor.

Joining Stevens and members of the Duluth police COPS division are two Georgia State Patrol troopers, members of Tallahassee's SWAT team and Fire Department, two North Carolina State Patrol officers, three Marine Corp special operators and four Army Rangers from Ft. Benning.