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Salisbury firefighter joins ride for fallen comrade

Jay Baker, a battalion chief for the Salisbury Fire Department, set off from Wilmington Monday morning with other firefighter cyclists who are part of the Carolina Brotherhood ride.
Covering almost 400 miles in five days, the 30 cyclists will be arriving in Asheville Friday on the eve of the one-year anniversary of a fire that killed Asheville Capt. Jeffrey Bowen.
This year’s ride is dedicated to Bowen.
The cyclists are averaging about 75 miles a day. On Monday, they covered 68 miles before stopping for the night in Elizabethtown.
Today’s destination is Rockingham. The group has plans to stop in Lumberton during today’s trip to attend the funeral of a police officer killed while on duty.
The other legs will go from Rockingham to Charlotte, Charlotte to Forest City and Forest City to Asheville.
The cyclists will be staying overnight in fire departments, a Masonic lodge and the union hall in Charlotte.
Baker, 46, also is chief of the Spencer Fire Department. He hopes to be posting updates on Twitter and Facebook.
Money collected by the Carolina Brotherhood ride will go toward college scholarships for the three children of Bowen, who died in a medical office building fire July 28, 2011.
Bowen also is survived by his mother and wife.

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