NUMB Ride completes 25th and final year, tops $1.1 million
Local food pantries will be better-stocked, Africa University better equipped, the Society of St. Andrew more able to glean and the Heifer Project can send a few more animal pairs to families in need.
This year’s Nebraska United Methodist Bike Ride for Hunger, June 26-30, raised more than $70,000 to support the above projects and raised more than $1.1 million to support food insecurity projects over its 25-year history. The Rev. Bill Ritter, ride director, laughs as he describes the first ride across northern Nebraska … 100-mile days in 100-degree heat!
“It’s a wonder anyone came back for year two!” he quipped.
The five days of the 2021 ride covered about 215 miles. The optional Saturday ride went out and back to Two Rivers State Park. The official ride began Sunday from the Elkhorn United Methodist Church and traveled to Syracuse; Monday, Syracuse to Ashland; Tuesday, Ashland to Fremont; and Wednesday, Fremont back to the Elkhorn UMC.
A little rain fell on Saturday, with the rest of the days perfect for riding — little wind and mild temps made the 25th and final NUMB Ride very enjoyable.
Local United Methodist Churches pulled out the stops and offered great breakfasts and dinners. Each night featured homegrown entertainment from the riders. Entertainment among this group is somewhat of a loose term, and includes juggling acts, twirling, original songs with NUMB lyrics, near-professional song renditions, storytelling and more.
Here are few quick facts:
128 riders and support staff participated in this year’s ride
29 riders rode NUIMB for the first time
66 riders were female
17 riders and support staff are ages70+
Half of the riders are 60+
Oldest rider is 79, oldest support staff is 82
Youngest rider is 10
Riders represented 12 states including Alaska!
The NUMB Ride’s 25th and final route is complete. Hard to believe that a ride that started with a $100,000 goal has reached the over $1 million mark. Contributions can still be made at www.numbride.org, you can also see more photos on Facebook.
Keep your bike on the road and the wind to your back. Well done good and faithful servants.
Special NUMB auction honored Peggy (Peg) Jeffres
Peggy (Peg) Jeffres passed away from cancer in December 2020, but she was sure to support the NUMB 25th anniversary ride. She donated her bike to NUMB to auction off so that she would have one last contribution to alleviating hunger in the world. Peg was an active member of Columbus First UMC, where she was baptized, confirmed and served for many years after she retired from teaching. For many years, she chaired the education committee, led the prayer team and participated in the Thursday night Bible study. She volunteered for many church activities and participated on the Nebraska United Methodist Bike (NUMB) Ride for over 15 years. Her original goal was to lose weight, and she did, over 100 pounds.
Her lasting legacy will be as a good friend, teacher, colleague, family member and to a large body of bike riders … a NUMB supporter.
Deb Meglio of Denver took home the bike with her high bid and a great legacy that she also hopes will motivate her to ride.
Kathryn Witte is former communications director for the Great Plains and Nebraska conferences and a longtime NUMB supporter.