Annual Bike Race N’ Ride builds community and Kingdom of God on Earth
by Jasmine Stockert | Development Assistant at St. Paul’s Newman Center
Bikers from the Newman Centers at NDSU and UND
begin their Annual Bike Race N’ Rides. (Jasmine Stockert)
Thirty-three years and the race is still on! Father James Ermer and Father Dale Kinzler did not imagine the major success that the NDSU and UND Newman Center annual bike race would be.
“The idea started with Father Ermer,” said Father Kinzler when asked about the beginnings of the event. Father Ermer hoped to get students involved through competition and raising funds for both organizations. The rivalry encouraged UND to have twice as many riders as NDSU that first year. However, Father Kinzler was “the faster pastor” as an avid bike racer himself. So the friendly competition continued, gradually grabbing the interest of alumni, community members, and local businesses to participate. Every year, each team has met at St. Rose of Lima Church in Hillsboro to share in fellowship over a potluck. The annual event can count anywhere from 300 to 400 bikes on the route. The race has only been canceled three times; during the Red River flood in 1997 and two snowed-out years in 2002 and 2008.
The bike race was created in 1986 to encourage the young adults of both campuses to live a dynamic Catholic life in order to build up the Kingdom of God on Earth. Students do not have the funds to support the homes-away-from-home these Newman Centers are to them. Through the Annual Bike Race N’ Ride, students encourage their family and friends to sponsor their ride so they can race. Businesses and the supporters of each Newman Center are also encouraged to donate in an effort to raise more funds for each of the organizations.
You can get involved in this year’s bike race on Saturday, April 28, no matter your ability! If you want a fun challenge, you are welcome to ride along with us. The racing crew ranges from professional to casual riders. A second way to participate is by financially and/or spiritually sponsoring the race or a specific rider on either team. We also need volunteers on the day of the race to help with rest stops along the way and with the final potluck.
If you are interested in getting involved in the 2018 race, check out each of the Newman Center’s websites www.bisoncatholic.org and www.undcatholic.org. We hope to see you April 28!