A bicycle pilgrimage

Hey! These folks are riding from Harrisonburg, VA to the Asuncion, Paraguay for the Global Youth Summit of Mennonite World Conference. Check them out!


As anyone who has been on a bike for an extended amount of time for their primary form of transportation knows, it is a life-altering experience. Godspeed to Lars and Jon and Love to all whom they will visit. I am in the process of encouraging the youth group from my church to bike to the Mennonite Youth Convention in Columbus, Ohio June 30-July 6. I hope it works out…it will definitely be life-altering. Besides saving money and petroleum, getting some fresh air and exercise, biking together is a great self-esteem and group-building opportunity. It generates an equality among races and genders through the creation of a camaraderie and shared intense, rewarding experience.

But there is some resistance. Sometimes I get so excited about something I can’t embrace alternatives. Pray for me as I discern how much to push and where to step-back….And DO visit bikemovement America’s website.

Comments (4)

  1. DenverS

    To add to ST’s note, I wanted to pass this note on from Dave Wiebe who is biking to Columbus with his wife and inviting riders along. They will be doing a fundraiser on this ride to supportMCC’s Anti-Racism Efforts.
    Dear Fellow Travelers,

    My wife and I have been watching with interest as Lars and Jonathan have been preparing for the journey to Paraguay. We did some preliminary exploration ourselves into riding to World Conference, but in the end decided we couldn’t afford to take that much time off work, not to mention the direct expenses of the trip. So instead we decided to make our biennial ride to the Mennonite Church USA convention; we rode to Charlotte in 2005 and San Jose in 2007 from our home in Newton, KS. This time we plan to ride the Underground Railroad Route from Mobile, Alabama to Columbus, OH. We hope to make it a learning and discovery tour, and will have the opportunity to share our experience at Columbus similar to the way BikeMovement shared at San Jose.

    Our ride will be a fund-raiser to support the anti-racism efforts of MCC’s constituent churches. We rode by ourselves to Charlotte and San Jose, but we are inviting others to join us on the Underground Railroad. We enjoyed the stimulation that BikeMovement provided at San Jose and would love to have riders from BikeMovement along on our ride. We will be riding during the month of June, leaving Mobile on June 1 and arriving in Columbus on June 30.

    Please spread the word and let’s keep in touch.

    Dave Wiebe

    PS Here are links to our previous rides.


  2. Tim Baer

    I think sailing to Paraguay would be fun. And it might be faster. And, of course, it uses no energy.

    And while lots of people are doing things to eradicate the scourge of racism, sailing could promote unification between people of varying means. I envision a sort of sailing trip that promotes solidarity between land dwelling folks and pirates. You could dress up like pirates and sail to Paraguay. Run out of money? Water? Food? EASY SOLUTION!!!…commandeer a civalian vessal and take whatever they have with swords and those single-shot pistol thingies. While plundering, give a quick history of pirates and the challenges they face to be seen as “equals” in society and the oppression they feel when drawn and quartered.

    Such a trip would surely arouse media attention at which time you could promote MCC’s other efforts including issues of race, religion, and those darn-tootin’ muggle-borns.

    *The preceeding was a load of malarkey.*

  3. Joseph

    Biking to Convention would certainly be the coolest way to do it. If the youth are responsive to the idea then push it through. But I say focus more on getting people to walk to the grocery store, bike to work/school, and carpool to church. Probably you’re on top of that anyway.

    Altering life is about making disciplined, informed choices, not getting rallied into a dramatic experience. The biking high might wear off as quickly as the Jesus high, post-Convention.

    Also, consider that if the environment is our number one concern then we should probably be boycotting national conventions rather than bicycling to them.

  4. ST

    Good point Joseph! And thanks, Denver for the info on Dave Wiebe and his wife, and their efforts!

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