The challenges and joys of participating in Bike for Bibles
Our Volunteer Manager, Alison Li, wrote the following blog post fresh from her trip to British Columbia where the only Bike for Bibles week-long ride – the Rocky Mountain Triangle Ride – took place. Laugh, cry, stress-out and rejoice with her in this candid sharing of her first-ever weeklong ride.
Bike for Bibles is an annual event that helps raise funds for Bible distribution. This year, funds raised will go towards Bible distribution in Canada.
The Rocky Mountain Triangle Bike for Bibles (B4B) was one of the most stressful, exhausting and crazy events that I have ever planned or been involved in. But I would be a part of it again in a heartbeat!
Having spent months planning this event, it was hard to fathom how everything that was on paper would come to life in a tangible way. Even more than that, it’s hard to imagine that I would be sharing a whole week of my life with a group of strangers – people that I have never met before – spending all day with them, eating with them and caring for their needs. Nonetheless, I embarked on this trip knowing that I was joining a very committed group of individuals who are passionate about cycling and, more importantly, love representing Jesus through their passion.
To say that there is a steep learning curve on the week-long B4B ride is an understatement. Simply from the amount of food that it takes to feed 22 people, to the number of cars needed to carry everyone’s belongings, to learning to swerve to the farthest left of the lane to avoid hurting the cyclists – every detail hit me like a ton of bricks!
The first two days were the most difficult, with early mornings and late nights. There were times when I thought I didn’t have what it takes to properly support our cyclists. We had 18 relatively experienced riders; 14 were seasoned and returning B4B cyclists, and four new participants. On the other hand, our four-person support crew this year – including myself – were all newbies. It was tough as we learned along the way, but we were up for the challenge! On the first couple of days, we underestimated how much food we needed to prepare, there was confusion about the routes and turning locations, and challenges with the weather and at times, with the communication process. We made a lot of blunders, but the cyclists were more than gracious.
Joanna, one of our roadies, said it best, “By the seventh day, we’re going to be experts at this!” We would say that repeatedly as we learned each day how to become better at our tasks: how to prepare our meals in each stop, how to keep our cyclists safer on the road, how to organize our stuff at each destination, etc. And it was true: by the seventh day, many things came like a breeze – but the seventh day also marked our last day!
Bittersweet. That’s how I would describe this adventure. By the seventh day, everyone was exhausted. Despite our enthusiasm about riding for a cause with like-minded people, we were ready to leave the road. Everyone looked forward to sleeping in a real bed instead of a hard, cold floor; everyone was excited to leave the sweltering heat on the road; and everyone was just excited to head home to their loved ones.
However, everyone will also be greatly missed. This is a group of cyclists that came together to form a community and family. It is far more than a simple cycling group. It is unique because we cycle and work hard together to make the name of Jesus known; it is a family of believers who have come together to support one another, journey together and represent Jesus through “their spokes”. As it was encouragingly chanted every morning, “Through our spokes, God speaks.”
This is a group – a family – that I’m glad to be a part of. This is an experience that I am happy to not have missed, one that I hope I get to be involved in again.