Halfway There: Jesuit's 5000-mile Bike Trek for Poverty Awareness


Matt_RuhlPriests aren’t exactly known to represent the bike community, but that doesn’t meant they don’t hit the pavement on two wheels once in a while.

Jesuit Father Matt Ruhl, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church in Kansas City, Mo., embarked May 29th on a 5,052-mile ride hoping to raise awareness on poverty-related issues. The Cycling for Change team is riding 5,052 miles from Cape Flattery, Wash., to Key West, Fla., to promote Catholic Charities USA’s Campaign to Reduce Poverty, a plan to cut poverty in half by 2020. Ruhl’s journey by bike will take him through various stops, including an Indian Reservation, a prison and a recovering area of New Orleans. The focus of the trip is to highlight poverty problems and to raise money for programs that benefit the poor.

As of July 6, Ruhl and his team were in Fort Collins, Colo., and headed to Denver; they have covered more than 2,000 miles of their 5,052-mile ride.

“So far so good,” Father Ruhl told Catholic News Service in a recent phone interview after riding approximately 70 miles that day. Team members, who range in age from 24 to 80, average 65 miles per day. The volunteer cycling team is a group of lawyers, doctors, social workers, photographers and retirees, all of whom are dedicated to addressing the issue of poverty.

The Cycling for Change team has a support team of four and will be joined along the way by additional cyclists who will ride for shorter segments of the trip. Each cyclist was sponsored for the ride. Updates and information can be found on the team’s website http://cyclingforchange.org, where a blog and live tracker for Father Ruhl and the team is provided.

You can watch Fr. Ruhl’s interview with KMBC-TV about his ride below.

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