CV NEWS FEED // Every year since 2009, young men and women gear up to spend a week biking across the country in the sweltering summer heat to raise awareness for pregnancy resource centers (PRC’s).
They are spurred on by St. John Paul II’s warning call: “Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending life.”
This past weekend, the Pro-Life organization Biking for Babies completed their 2021 National Ride. Fifty missionaries, including cyclists and a support crew, covered 2,700 miles across America.
Four different routes starting from Wisconsin, Ohio, Colorado, and Louisiana converged at a Celebration for Life in St. Louis, MO. Riders powered through tornados, rain, and hills over the course of six days.
The routes come together to form a cross, representing the great sacrifice and struggle that mothers experience during an unplanned pregnancy.
Cat Howard, a CatholicVote staffer and missionary on the eastern route, shared what made the experience so special.
“Getting up at 4 am, and sometimes 3 am, every morning for six days to sit on a bike for 7-10 hours doesn’t sound appealing at all. But the reason behind it is what made the national ride worth it for every missionary, including myself,” said Howard:
In both the initial months of training and on the National Ride, we got to offer up our suffering and our joy for those with crisis pregnancies and those affected by abortion. On the actual ride, we started our day with reflections, offered up our biking, and ended the night with Mass. All of this helped me to transform my own daily life into a constant prayer so that I could be a better steward of renewing the culture of life.
In addition to raising funds and awareness for PRC’s, Howard noted, another important focus of Biking for Babies is missionary formation.
“During the ride, we got to encounter and fellowship with strangers at parishes, in gas stations, or on someone’s lawn that we happened to be camping out on to fix a flat tire,” explained Howard. “These moments were significant and allowed us to spread the joy and hope presented in a culture of life.”
Over the past 10 years, biking for babies has raised nearly one million dollars for PRC’s across the country.
Rob Reynebeau, another missionary traveling on the eastern route, summed up the biking for babies experience.
“We ride each mile with joy,” he said, “and the confidence that our efforts in raising awareness and funds for life-affirming pregnancy resource centers will result in changed hearts and minds, and ultimately save lives!”