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P.J. Lingley, a Sedona Fire District captain and local bike shop owner, is taking his passion on the road this week for a worthy cause.

Sedona bicycle rider P.J. Lingley makes his way down Beaverhead Flat Road on the morning of Thursday, June 12, escorted part of the way by the Sedona Fire District. Lingley was participating in Race Across America and heading toward Flagstaff. The course was rerouted due to the road closure in Oak Creek Canyon.
The 35-year-old runner-up in the June 2012 Race Across the West is more than halfway through his 3,020-mile bicycle Race Across America from Oceanside, Calif., to Annapolis, Md., after passing through Cottonwood and Cornville with a nine-person crew and fire escort the morning of Thursday, June 12.

“P.J.’s a super guy,” said Rick Boethling, Race Across America executive director. “He was friends with the guys who lost their lives fighting the Yarnell  Hill Fire.”

Lingley, who has already been on the road without rest for a period of 26 hours straight, is biking to raise money for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation — a charity that honors firefighters killed in the line of duty and provides support groups for their families, according to its website.

“A lot of the guys I work with, many of the guys on that crew, I was good friends with,” Lingley said prior to the beginning of the race. “That one hit really close to home.”

So on June 11, Lingley took a 500-foot detour off the race route into a cemetery near Prescott to pay his respects to the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters killed fighting the June 2013 blaze.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, June 18, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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