I’m a cyclist of the weekend warrior variety. I like to ride with clubs and friends or to just roll out of my garage, often with a wandering route that would take me to the beach or the hills or to both. A few years back I got the notion that I should try to attempt a 100-mile ride. I’m pretty solid for 50 or 60 miles and maybe, in a stretch, 70 miles but 100? I’d have to dig deep on that one. I mentioned my big idea to my son, MC and suggested that he come along with me to lend some moral support on this grand adventure. He was in and further, he suggested that we open it up to some of our rider-friends. The next thing we knew we had about a dozen riders who were ready to roll with us. There was no backing out at that point.
Soon thereafter our dozen riders had swelled to over 30 riders. With this, I had another thought; if we can find 30 riders with a few texts, what could we do with a greater call to all south-county riders to come out and join us? I took this idea to John Gash of FaithQuest Missions. John, what would you think about launching a century bike ride, (a “Century”, indicating a 100-mile ride) to benefit FaithQuest Missions? John was in, immediately. With this, the Big Ring Century was launched, (The, “Big Ring” is the front gear on a bike that allows the rider to pedal at top speed).
With a little gorilla marketing we were off and running. John Gash and I rode together and apart to mark every bike lane in southern Orange County, announcing the ride with our chalk messages, some Facebook ads worked as well, we posted signs in bike shops and we spread the word as best as we could. It worked. It was an awesome sight to see over 500 riders at starting line of the Inaugural Big Ring Century.
Over the next few years we were blessed to build a family of faithful volunteers who have organized some amazing Big Ring events. In this time we were also able to raise some money for the important Kingdom work of FaithQuest Missions, an amazing organization that is spreading the gospel to the far corners of the world and is directly benefiting some forgotten people who are in great need who, otherwise may have never been reached.
We’re changing things up a bit this year at the Big Ring. Our ride, on May 19th will still include fee-based riders but our emphasis will be less about the Big Ring ride, itself and more about our riders joining alongside Team FaithQuest in its mission.
This year Big Ring will join with a larger group that will pack and send 500,000 meals to war torn children in Africa. Rather than to have our riders pay a fee to ride and then not see them until the following year, we’re challenging each Big Ring rider to join Team FaithQuest by raising the cost to supply 1,000 meals, ($300) for the children and then to continue their support by becoming a part of the ongoing missions work. Further, and importantly, we’re praying that non-riders will also step up and match our Big Ring riders with their own 1,000-meal gift to FaithQuest Missions. Are you in!?
It’s been a great blessing for me to be able to be a part of the Big Ring Century. You can join in the fun too. There’s an open invitation for everyone reading this to join us at the Big Ring on May 19th.