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Cycle ride, tournaments to honor special forces this weekend

DULUTH -- Two dozen cyclists will complete a 650-mile "honor ride" in Duluth Friday afternoon, ending their journey to honor a fallen Navy Seal.

The cyclists -- made up of various law enforcement, public safety and special forces representatives -- are led by Duluth police Lt. Bill Stevens, the founder of local nonprofit Operation One Voice. They left Little Creek Naval Base in Virginia Beach, Va., on Tuesday, and are scheduled to arrive in Duluth at approximately 1 p.m. Friday.

On Friday, the riders will travel U.S. Highway 78 in Loganville, where Gwinnett County police motorcycles will join to escort the team. The riders will then take Sugarloaf Parkway into Duluth.

This year's event is to honor Petty Officer First Class Neil Roberts, the first Navy Seal killed in Afghanistan.

"The Honor Ride's goal is to honor those members of the public safety community that sacrificed their lives on Sept. 11, 2001 and to remember those members of our armed services that are now in harm's ways," Stevens said, in part, in a new release.

Operation One Voice is an organization that helps raise funds for families of wounded and fallen special operations forces. In addition to those efforts, six bicycles are purchased each year to be donated to a wounded special operations forces member to aide in their rehab.

The bike ride isn't the only weekend event for the group.

On Friday and Saturday, Atlanta Braves legend Phil Niekro will host his "Skins and Fins" pro-am golf and fishing tournaments, designed to raise funds for Operation One Voice. Former Atlanta Falcons Steve Bartkowski and Morten Andersen, as well as former coach Dan Reeves, are expected to participate.

More than 30 families of special operations forces members will also participate in Sunday morning service at the Peachtree Point amphitheater at Lake Lanier Islands.

For more information, visit operationonevoice.org and philniekroskinsandfins.com.