Cyclists are signing up for the ride of their lives this summer, taking God’s message of hope to the streets.
The Sea to Sea 2013 Bike Tour is a nine-week, 3,900-mile cycling trek across North America designed to raise awareness and funds in support of those living in poverty around the world. The tour is hosted by the Reformed Church in America, Partners Worldwide, and the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC)—an agency of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.
The tour begins June 21, 2013, in Los Angeles and ends nine weeks later in New York City. Stops include Phoenix, Colorado Springs, Pella, Chicago, Grand Rapids, Toronto, and Montreal. Organizers expect this will be the largest bicycle tour to ever cross the United States and Canada. The tour will be coming through Pella July 26 & 27. The registration deadline for full distance cyclists is March 1. Cyclists who wish to ride one of the shorter segments can sign up after March 1. To register, go to www.seatosea.org.
The challenge includes nine weeks on the road, cycling an average of 68 miles per day, and resting only on Sundays. Each rider is also required to raise at least $10,000 toward the cause.
The 2008 tour, which rode through the U.S. and Canada, sent over $1.5 million to local, national and international agencies fighting poverty.
“We have been able to make a difference in fighting poverty, locally and abroad, before. But there is so much more to do. The needs today are greater,” said Claire Elgersma, chair of the tour’s steering committee.
Funds generated through the tour will be used to support new or ongoing initiatives in the areas of business and community development, and will provide people around the world with access to clean water, immunizations, and other vital medical services. Additionally, 35 percent of the tour proceeds will be distributed to local programs that assist the poor.