Steamboat firefighter cycling for fallen heroes | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat firefighter cycling for fallen heroes

— A Steamboat Springs firefighter is preparing for a six-day, road-cycling ride to honor fallen heroes.

Craig Malchow moved from Park City, Utah, seven and a half years ago to become a firefighter at Steamboat Fire Rescue.

In 2011, Malchow had the opportunity to attend the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. There, he met Jeff Morse, a Florida firefighter and founder of The Brotherhood Ride. Morse hosted the first bike ride in 2008, a year after nine Charleston, South Carolina, firefighters were killed.

"We wanted to show the families, that here a year later, people were coming up to Charleston to support them," Morse said.

Seven years and 5,700 cycling miles later, Morse's foundation has donated $248,000 to the families of emergency responders who have died.

This year, Malchow and 39 other cyclists will be honoring 27 firefighters and police officers who died in the Northeast in 2014.

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The 500-plus-mile ride in September will start at the National Fire Academy in Maryland and end at a Boston Fire Department station. In 2014, two firefighters from that station died.

Malchow has been trying to spend as much time as he can on the saddle.

"I'm feeling good and healthy about the ride, but I've never done anything that long," Malchow said.

Along the way, the group will be hosted at Elks lodges and will stop at fire departments to honor the fallen, most of whom they never knew.

"As emergency responders, we risk our lives every day for complete strangers, so I feel very honored and privileged to be a part of this," Malchow said.

Malchow has a fundraising webpage at http://www.active.com/donate/brotherhoodride2015/CraigMalchow.

He has received monetary donations from Yampa Valley Bank and Snap-On Tools. SmartWool has donated socks for the riders who will be fueled by donations from Honey Stinger and kept hydrated and cool with PowerICE.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland