Ride for the Blue revs up for seventh year

Riders exit the Thousand Oaks Police Station during the 2021 Sgt. Ron Helus Ride for the Blue. This year’s ride is Sat., June 4 again starting from Simi Valley City Hall and stopping at eight different police stations throughout the county. Acorn file photo

A roaring mass of leather and steel will descend on Ventura County on Sat., June 4 for the seventh annual Ride for the Blue.

John Short of Thousand Oaks started the motorcycle ride in 2015 as a way to show support for local law enforcement. What began as 40 or so bikers visiting a handful of police stations has grown into a salute for all first responders, Short said, with as many as 300 riders expected to participate this year.

“Each year the ride has grown. The outpouring of support for our first responders here in Ventura County is amazing,” he said.

Short renamed the event in 2019 the Sgt. Ron Helus Ride for the Blue in honor of the Ventura County sheriff’s sergeant who lost his life trying to save victims at the 2018 Borderline Bar mass shooting in T.O.

“I was friends with Sgt. Helus, and after the tragic event I asked Karen Helus (Ron’s widow) if I could rename the ride to honor her husband. This would provide a constant reminder that our law enforcement officers have often paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve,” he said.

Riders will gather in the parking lot outside Simi Valley City Hall around 7 a.m. June 4 and depart at 8. From there, they’ll make stops at eight different police stations—breaking around noon for lunch—ending in Fillmore around 4 p.m. Total miles traveled is 110.

Firefighters will be staged at locations along the route, Short said.

Registration fee is $40 and includes lunch, light refreshments and a Ride for the Blue T-shirt.

Proceeds go to the nonprofit 911 At Ease International, which provides support for first responders and their families.

For more information, call (800) 606-1390 or email john.short@ubs.com.