Picture 150 bike riders under a huge, blue sky, cruising across the wide-open plains of Nebraska for four days. This June, for the 22nd year, the Nebraska United Methodist Bike Ride for Hunger (NUMB) will bring riders together from across the country to pedal about 250 miles in a huge circle route in the State of Nebraska. For the second year in a row, part of the proceeds of the ride will support the Society of St. Andrew. While last year’s route traveled through County Fair regions, this year’s tour will roll through cattle country, averaging 63 miles a day. Riders will be fed dinner and breakfast by United Methodist churches in Wisner, Albion, Plainview, and Ponca. They’ll spend their nights at local campgrounds.
Each year since 1996, Bill Ritter and Greg Bakewell have coordinated and ridden the NUMB RIDE for Hunger. The event has raised a total of $854,000 over that time. Both are members of The United Methodist Church, and Ritter is District Superintendent of the Great Plains Blue River District. The two originally met in 1995 on another long-range bike event while they sat out a rain storm in a hog barn in Northern Nebraska. They talked about the concern that the church had lots of great hunger projects and not enough funding and publicity to make them more effective – why not create a fund-raising bike ride?
SoSA is grateful to be added to the hunger-relief organizations supported by this ride. We received $16,250 from the NUMB Ride held in the summer of 2016, and we will be one of the organizations supported again this year. Learn more about NUMB at its website. And sign up if you’re interested in next year’s ride!