Four Men Pedaling For A Purpose - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/06/05

Four Men Pedaling For A Purpose

These men may not be competing in the tour de France, but the reward, after they cross the finish line, is just as grand.

They are pedaling for a purpose, raising money and awareness for the Back Bay Mission.

"It seemed like a good idea as I was sitting in my easy chair two months ago, that we take this bike ride as a fundraiser. So I contacted two other ministers nearby. They agreed that we would do it and then we did some publicity with the churches and they agreed to sponsor us in support of coming to the mission," said biker Rev. Peter Olsen.

Traveling over 60 miles every day for two weeks, Rev. Olsen, along with his brother Edwin, and reverends Alan Coe and Tom VandeStatdt, were able to see the hill country of Texas, the backwoods of Louisiana, and the looming trees of Mississippi.

"You get to see the scenery from the back roads of town that you would never see any other way, and at a slow pace. So, it's a wonderful way to see the country," said biker Rev. Alan Coe.

But they say sightseeing was just an extra feature of their true goal, bringing a little financial relief to the 83-year-old agency dedicated to serving the poor.

"You know, it's a great show that people in many places know about this place and want to support the ministry that we bring to this community, but to have four gentlemen put this kind of extra mile, literally, effort into something on our behalf is really amazing and we're just awestruck," said Back Bay Mission executive director Shari Prestemon.

And after all of that hard work from Austin to Biloxi, one biker only requested one thing.

"I want to have a Pepsi. I need some caffeine," said Coe.

He, along with the other bikers, have definitely earned it.

The final numbers are not in yet, but Prestemon says she believes the bikers have raised somewhere around $4,000 for the Back Bay Mission.

By Karla Redditte

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