Cycling for Change 2012 – Going to Joplin

Catholic Charities’ ride to reduce poverty continued this year with Cycling for Change 2012. In one week, a team of 13 cyclists rode from Kansas City to Joplin, MO and back, joined by many day riders along the way. In Joplin, their day off from riding was actually a day of service to help those recovering from the tornado that devastated the town one year ago. This is a brief visual summary of the ride.

© JEREMY RUZICH

Mass was celebrated at St. Therese Little Flower Parish in Kansas City, MO the evening before the beginning of the ride. Here the congregation blesses the team.

© JEREMY RUZICH

Several cyclists rode in the 2011 ride as well. Most trained hard to prepare for this year’s 80- and 90-mile distances. A few even completed their first “century” (100-mile ride).

© JEREMY RUZICH

On Sunday June 3rd at 7AM, the team rolled out from St. Therese Little Flower Church.

© JEREMY RUZICH

Dana and Dave ride together on the way to Joplin.

© JEREMY RUZICH

Southern Missouri landscapes.

© JEREMY RUZICH

On Wednesday’s day of service, around 150 volunteers from Kansas City rode to Joplin by bus to work with the Cycling for Change team. Here Steve helps lead a group in breaking up the rocky soil for a retaining wall.

© JEREMY RUZICH

One of the few remaining structures left standing in the path of the tornado was the cross of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Today it remains standing as a symbol of encouragement to the people of Joplin.

© JEREMY RUZICH

Bernie exchanges greetings with a local resident.

© JEREMY RUZICH

Living simply was a key part of the ride, as team members packed only one or two small bags and slept on school gym floors.

© JEREMY RUZICH

Each day’s ride began with a prayer to reflect most especially on the state of those living in poverty in America.

© JEREMY RUZICH

To see more from past rides (including the 5,000-mile, cross-country journey) click on the Cycling for Change tag at the top of this post.

Also check back soon at www.photojeremy.com, where Cycling for Change will be one of several featured stories.

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