Teen cycles to raise money for police officer memorial fund

- A 16-year-old Napa boy is riding his bicycle a thousand miles from the Oregon border to the Mexico border in hopes of raising money and awareness for the families of fallen police officers.

Travis Risley pedaled from Point Reyes to Pacifica today, complete with police and CHP escorts along the way.
You might have spotted him cruising across the Golden Gate Bridge or down the Great Highway today with sirens wailing and red and blue lights flashing.

"The hardest parts are the headwinds and the crosswinds, "said Risley. "But I remember what I'm doing it for and it just keeps me going throughout the day."

No summer sleepaway camps or playing video games for this 16 year old. Instead, Risley is cycling 70 miles a day, stopping at police stations along the way, posing for photos and shaking hands with cops, while picking up checks. The money that will benefit the California Peace Officers Memorial Foundation or families of fallen officers.

"[It] brings awareness to the dangers that law enforcement face on a daily basis and at any given time, his foundation could help any one of us out," said Officer Honour Knudsen with the Sausalito Police Department.
Risley's own father Dan is a Napa Police officer.

"When he was working graveyard, I would stay up at night and just thinking of all kinds of things that could happen," said Travis. In the wake of several widely publicized officer-involved shootings and increased negativity toward police, Travis said he felt the burden at a young age.

"He was actually scared to death that he would come home and he would be shot in our driveway," said his mother, Andrea. "It really affected all of us."

Dan Risley said after attending peace officer memorial ceremonies this May, Travis came up with the idea of his "California Ride."

"Travis told me, he goes 'Dad, I don't ever want to experience anything like that ever again.' And we want to make sure that these families are taken care of ," said the elder Risley.

Today was day six. With his parents drivign behind him, Travis stopped at Sausalito PD first where he received a check, then met up with SFPD and SF CHP to receive an escort across the Golden Gate.

SF Police Officer's Association President, Martin Halloran, handed Risley a check for $1000 and pat him on the back.

"For this young man to do this on his own volition, we're highly impressed and we want to be a part of his journey through our city," said Halloran.

After receiving an escort down the Great Highway, Daly City Police joined in, along with Pacifica Police to make sure Risley made it to Pacifica safely. The group then treated him to lunch at Nick's Seashore Restaurant for a well-deserved bite to eat.

A few days ago, Risley gave an in memoriam pin to the mother of Mendocino County Sheriff Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino, who in 2014, was ambushed in his patrol car by a gunman with an assault rifle.

"It was a very touching moment," said Travis. "I know my dad and I walked out of there crying, cause it was just such a - it really hits you."

In Pismo Beach,Travis will ride a leg of his journey with the widow of fallen East Palo Alto Police Officer Richard Allen May by his side.

"I really want her to ride with me and be part of this experience with me because it is for her," said Travis.
"I don't know any other 16 year old kid that's spending his summer like this," said his father. "We couldn't be more proud of him."

So far Travis has raised more than $7000 and hopes to double that amount with more than 500 miles still to go.

Travis wraps up his "California Ride" July 24th. Please head to our ktvu.com for more information on his journey. Click on the camemorial link, then the donate tab under Travis' Trek.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In - Includes Advertiser Stories