The Big “F” at Bike for Bibles
The Canadian Bible Society concluded its annual cycling event, Bike for Bibles, with the last ride in September. This year, about 150 cyclists across Canada participated in one-day and multi-day rides to raise over $50,000 for the Bible-based HIV/AIDS awareness program, the Good Samaritan.
Bike for Bibles is not just a fundraising event, it is also an opportunity for participants to enjoy fellowship with other cyclists as well as to re-charge spiritually. Many past participants shared that, although physically spent at the end of the rides, they go home with renewed spiritual strength, thanks to the daily devotions prepared by organizers.
Here’s one feedback shared by Jim McClelland who joined the two week-long rides in Alberta and British Columbia. Jim raised over $2000 for the Good Samaritan Program:
May I begin by thanking you for your support in what was a very challenging two weeks on the bike. Yet, when I look back on the two weeks, what comes through so clearly was how all participants put their personal ambitions aside to be there for one another throughout some very tough days — as in rain, long days in the saddle (180km one day) and many climbs.
So, what made these two weeks special? I could start by sharing that other than for two days out of the 14 where I struggled, the rest found me getting stronger and enjoying the challenges of the steepest hills wherein lay my strength. But that paled in comparison to connecting with the other riders, choosing or being chosen in some instances to ride with a wide range of personalities. For both rides the common denominator amongst the riders and roadies (support team) was caring for and watching out for one another. You might wonder how this could be possible, especially with the Vancouver Island group as there were in excess of 50 members (34 riders + support). It was the big “F” as in family, faithfulness, fundraising, fun and more.
The quality of riders was surprising to some of the organizers from past years and this in itself created a challenge for the roadies to keep ahead of us – putting up direction signs, setting up both snack and lunch venues, and assisting with flat tires, etc. I would say that this year’s riders on both weeks were in very good shape and definitely motivated. That does not mean that less experienced riders cannot join in the future as they too would be so well cared for and welcomed.
The churches that hosted us certainly did not disappoint. In fact, at one point I wondered if there was a competition going on as to who could outdo who in the suppers. Wow! Some of us actually gained weight. (No, not me!)
I do want to touch on the sites of each week’s ride. The AB Rocky Mountain Triangle featured some fantastic lake and mountain vistas coupled with a lot of elevation change. The ride on my 3rd day from Balfour to Creston along Kootenay Lake was special for me. And the Vancouver Island ride just blew me away in the changes in scenery and how we were able to negotiate the Island without having to spend much time on the major highway. Then to cross over to Powell River in cycling first from Campbell River to ride the Sunshine Coast all the way to Vancouver in 2 days was such a great finish. I applaud the route organizers for making a very difficult challenge work so well. This was a new route for Bike for Bibles.
What did I get out of this experience? Certainly I have a greater appreciation for what we are capable of doing when it comes to working together in a common cause. Now I have new friends whom I hope to see again next year. I realize that I will slow down, but I also realize that I can still feel alive and well.
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