Mark Faust, David Johnson and Rekayi Isley say they are riding in memory of former Duke and Durham city officer Charles Callemyn, who died in a 2007 traffic accident while rushing to provide backup to a fellow officer.
After Callemyn's death, Faust and other Duke officers rebuilt the boyhood tree house Callemyn had loved as a child at his Hillsborough home, so his two sons can enjoy it.
"He was more than a co-worker," said Faust, 53. "He was a friend. There are people you work with, and then there are people who you work with who are friends as well."
Faust's 30-year-old son is a Raleigh police officer and is making the bike trip with Team Raleigh.
Faust said he's never made such a long bike trip, but he's been practicing and bought a French-made road bike just for the occasion.
"I've taken one of our challenge coins and mounted it on my handlebar, so if I get tired, I'll just look down at it," he said.