Check out this clip to see how the bikers are staying strong as they crossed the mighty Mississippi yesterday!
By: Jimmy Becker; written on May 23
Hey y’all! (I believe that’s how these southern folk say it)
Today, we had a gentle 100 mile trek from Lis’s house in Madison to Greenwood, Mississippi. The landscape provided both little resistance and little spectacle, as we travelled past field after rolling, flat field. The average day for the support vehicle involves supplying food for the riders, navigation, and rest-stop-coordination. The mid-ride water bottle handoffs are particularly awesome, as we line up on the side of the road while the bikers swoop by and pick up their filled beverage containers (this, of course, is assuming the bikers GRAB the bottles, not PUNCH them out of your hand *cough* *Mike* *cough*). Today’s route, being particularly desolate in terms of human interaction (seriously, the combined populations of the towns we passed through today surely didn’t surpass the triple digits) was a great opportunity to further develop the camaraderie of both the support team and the biking team; this bonding ranged from singing Grease tunes as the bikers drove by to staging outrageously incomprehensible “accident” scenes in front of the camera during a pit stop.
While yesterday was more centered around building our bond with the community, today has been more of an internal bonding, as only through our fellowship with each other and the grace of God were we able to successfully and painlessly traverse the seemingly endless crop field that is central Mississippi.
Today’s reading is particularly relevant, as it states how “In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” This verse is a reminder of how we, as the support crew, have the God-given duty to give everything we have to these “weak” bikers; their toils are for a fantastic cause, so–in helping them–ours are too. This verse, additionally, applies to the unborn children all around the world. Our toils, as a cohesive Biking for Babies team, are being offered up to end abortion and protect these weak, innocent children. The Gospel, too, sheds light on why we do what we do. “I have given them my word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” This verse is an inspiration, for it tells us that, though people may hate us for what we stand for and though it may separate us from what society deems to be “the world,” everything is alright, as these are the exact conditions under which Jesus loved and preached to the world.
Briefly, we would like to thank Jimmy’s uncle for lending his van to this wonderful cause. That old Honda Odyssey, though we had our doubts when we first saw the vehicle (seriously, it looks like the thing was ridden through a sandstorm and a hurricane simultaneously), it has held up great and we are all slowly falling in love with it. It has become a hub of community and love, as it is a symbol of the noble cause we fight for.
Thank you all for your support and prayers, we love you guys!
-Your B4B Support Team a.k.a Swagga Wagon
To check out videos and read more posts from the B4B team, visit: www.bikingforbabies.com/.
What would make a group of 10 young adults want to go on a 1,150 mile bike ride? Call it a mission on wheels.
From May 21 – 29, the group of 10 young men and women will bike from New Orleans to Chicago on this year’s Biking for Babies ride, to raise money for women in crisis pregnancies. This is the fourth year for the ride, founded by FOCUS Missionary, Jimmy Becker (25), and Mike Schaefer (23), who became fast friends while students at the University of Illinois.
The ride is more than a fund raiser. The bikers will stay with host parishes and families along the way, while giving talks on the dignity of life and the terrible losses from abortion.
“The year we were born, over 1.5 million babies were killed by abortion in just the United States alone. How many of those could have been our classmates? Our teammates? Our friends?” said Becker. “We’re riding for the 1.5 million that aren’t here to ride with us.”
The original Biking for Babies ride was a 600 mile ride from Carbondale, IL to Chicago, over their spring break, which raised over $13,000. Becker and Schaefer have increased their fundraising each year and hope to reach a goal of $40,000 in this year’s ride. Beneficiaries of this endeavor include organizations in six different states.
We want everyone to have the opportunity to experience the beauty of life as we have,” said Schaefer. “And with the ride, we are doing our best to promote the protection of life from the moment of conception to a natural death.”
Bike Ride from New Orleans to Chicago…
Becker, originally from Des Moines, IA, now works as a missionary with FOCUS, Fellowship of Catholic University Students at the University of Texas in Austin. Schaefer originally from Freeburg, IL, currently works as the Associate Director at the Newman Center at Bradley University in Peoria. The rest of the team includes a mix of students, seminarians and professionals from Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Virginia, and Wisconsin. (Read the profiles of all 10 riders atwww.BikingForBabies.com.)
The team will ride between 90 and 190 miles each day, beginning in New Orleans and making stops in Columbia, Jackson, and Greenwood, MS; Memphis, TN; Cape Girardeau, MO; Freeburg and Champaign, IL and concluding in Chicago. The group will prepare for the ride by cycling long distances, running and weight training. Many of the riders are competitive athletes. Becker, Stacy Hague of Chicago, and Jeremy Winter of Mobile, AL are all triathletes. Hague is also on the Cross Country Team at University of Illinois. Schaefer runs marathons and was able to convince fellow teammate Taylor Caputo, of Streator, IL into running a half marathon this past fall for conditioning for Biking for Babies.
Not all this year’s bikers are experienced endurance athletes. Stephen Barany, 22, of South Bend, IN, who drove the support vehicle on last year’s Biking for Babies from Covington, LA to Champaign, IL, humbly admits on the group’s website, “despite my unimpressively average athleticism and fears of failure, I have decided to follow in the pedal strokes of my close friend Mike.”
Videos, more info about the receiving charities, the riders, and how to donate, can be found via the ride’s website:www.BikingForBabies.com and on Facebook: “Biking For Babies.”
For more information, please contact James Becker at Biking for Babies: (515-371-2951) or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the group online at: www.BikingForBabies.com