Record sum raised for NUMB


The Nebraska United Methodist Bike Ride for Hunger (NUMB Ride) celebrated its 20th anniversary with a loop ride starting June 27 and ending July 1 in Ogallala. A single-year record total of $75,000 was raised by 148 registered riders. 

This year boasted more than a dozen riders raising more than $1,000 each, also qualifying them for a free registration for next year’s ride scheduled for south-central Nebraska. The 20-year total raised by the ride is $791,000.

Riders huddled together in the Ogallala, Nebraska, sanctuary for
the annual group photo the Saturday night of the ride.

“I know that within the next few years we will break the $1 million mark in support of hunger projects in Nebraska and around the world,” said Ride Director and Blue River District Superintendent Bill Ritter.

This year’s ride supported Heartland Food Banks, Heifer International, Bread for the World and the Agriculture program at African University in Zimbabwe.

Hunger is still a significant issue in Nebraska, Kansas and beyond. According to Feeding America, an organization known as the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization with more than 200 food banks and 60,000 affiliated food pantries, approximately 49 million Americans live in households that struggle to have food on the table on a daily basis. Almost 16 million of those people are children.

“I rode Sunday for the hungry people in Nebraska who depend on the Food Banks,” Route Director Greg Bakewell said. “On Monday I rode to help give a pair of farm animals to people in South America, on Tuesday I rode to help Bread for the World advocate on behalf of those who do not have a voice, and on Wednesday I rode so that Africa University might have a strong program to help farmers.”

There were 38 first-time riders this year adding new camaraderie to the ride. The NUMB Ride honored Larry Lienemann and John Leibman, both long-time

Andrew Fries offered both
an exhibition and a lesson
in juggling during Tuesday
night’s talent show.

riders who passed away this year.

Other highlights included:

  • Two days ridden in Colorado, included the “best day” from Haxtun, Colorado, to Imperial, Nebraska – downhill, wind to the back, smooth roads and no hills.
  • The ride from Sidney to Haxtun was deemed the “worst day,” with 6,938 expansion joints on the roads, although some riders considered Imperial to Ogallala – with wind and heat in the face – to be the worst day.
  • Host towns of Ogallala, Sidney, Haxtun and Imperial extended radical hospitality.
NUMB would not be complete without its nightly talent shows. This year’s ride included a fireworks display in Sidney, a puppet show in Haxtun, juggling in Imperial and great music throughout.

 - Story by Kathryn Witte

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