FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A woman is trying to bridge tough conversations between law enforcement and the Black Lives Matter movement through her love of cycling.
Alisha Zellner has pledged to ride 400 miles in July and has been updating her progress daily.
"Four-hundred miles was chosen for the 400 years black, and African Americans have been fighting for social justice," Zellner said.
When she takes the gloves and helmet off, Zellner puts on a badge to head to work. She has worked in law enforcement for five years and is currently a Colorado State University Police Corporal.
"I do it all mostly patrol work, but I dabble in mental health for Larimer County," Zellner said. "I was able to gain so much perspective in my training. It allows me to have a greater appreciation for what law enforcement does. At the same time, I have been black my entire life, so I also have an appreciation for what the black community has gone through."
Zellner was inspired after completing the Police Unity Tour, a 250-mile ride to honor officers killed in the line of duty.
After the death of George Floyd, she created the "Bike Ride For Black Lives." Over 200 people rode with her at Spring Canyon Park in Fort Collins on July 12.
"There are a lot of people of color who wear uniforms in this community who showed up and just said thank you for creating space for us to have a voice. That is magical to me," Zellner said.
Zellner rides 12 miles a day outdoors or at Cyclebar.
Several people have pledged to ride 400 miles with her, and they are sharing the impacts of their journey on social media.
"I have seen people talk about difficult conversations they are having with different generations in their family, books they are reading, podcast they are exposing themselves to," she said.
She has raised over $6,000 through GoFundMe. The money will be donated to Black Lives Matter, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Equal Justice Initiative, National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Civil Rights Museum in Atlanta.
Zellner hopes her ride will become an annual event.
"So it continues to bring awareness of the movement, and that social change needs to happen in the criminal justice system," Zellner said.