by Jordan Brittain, 2023 missionary (support crew on New York Route)
When I was messaged two years ago by the organization Biking for Babies, I hadn’t heard of them before and had never ridden a road bike. I much preferred running with my feet on solid ground. However, after reading about their mission, I knew this was something God was asking me to do, and I felt compelled to apply. That was the first step in a big leap of faith that has completely changed my life.
Last year, I was a rider for the first Columbus, Ohio to Washington D.C. route — this year, I was part of the support crew for the newest route, which starts in Albany, New York and joins up with the DC route at the National Mall. I feel lucky to have experienced both sides of the National Ride; each holds its own unique triumphs and struggles, playing an equally vital role in executing the mission of Biking for Babies to understand and empathize with women in crisis.
The National Ride is strenuous, covering 600 miles in just six days. It demands discipline from both the riders and the support crew (called missionaries), and thus it’s crucial to be centered on Christ and patient with one another. The early mornings, long days, and unforeseen challenges (flat tires, rainstorms, and closed roads, etc.) are a couple of examples of what a Biking for Babies missionary deals with during the National Ride.
One must be prepared for anything and willing to trust in God’s plan, offering up everything for the sake of the mission.
For me, it was extremely difficult to get the hang of basic things like shifting gears, clipping in and out, and drafting. Many of my teammates were skilled and wanted to go as fast as possible, but they never failed to put my needs above themselves, sacrificing their time to help me learn. This looked like putting me in the front to make sure I didn’t fall behind and teaching me to shift as they rode behind me.
They willed me forward when I didn’t think I had the strength to keep going, and that’s exactly what the workers and volunteers in the pro-life movement do for the women and men they encounter who feel they have nowhere to turn.
While the experience was incredibly humbling, I was also grateful to my team for their support, and I learned the importance of being vulnerable and leaning on others in times of trial. There were days when I felt helpless and small and had to get in the van because I was simply too exhausted to keep up. In those moments, however, I would remember all the vulnerable men and women in need of help. I would imagine their feelings of loneliness and doubt, striving to offer up my own feelings and sufferings for them.
I decided to be a support crew missionary this year because I knew I was probably better suited for it, and I wanted to be there for the riders the way they had been there for me. The support crew are the unsung heroes; they cheer on the riders, fill waters, replenish snacks, stay up late to do laundry and rise early to prep the van, go to the grocery store for ice, and so much more. They serve quietly and consistently, making it look easy.
But it is by no means easy — and neither is riding. That is the beauty of Biking for Babies. No matter your role, it forces you to get out of your comfort zone, do something hard for someone else, and make long-lasting friends and memories in the process. Whether I decide to ride again or be on the support crew, I am already looking forward to next year.
For just one of the highlights, two sisters from Sisters of Life joined us on the NY route for Day 2 of the National Ride. It was such a blessing to have them with us. There was a woman they knew who had an abortion scheduled, and we offered up the ride for her and her baby. We found out the next day that she canceled her appointment and was excited about being a mom.
I am so grateful to everyone who hosted the 80 missionaries along the eight routes this year, and I want to thank our mission partners and everyone who supported and prayed for us. Most importantly, I want to thank Biking for Babies for all they do to help fundraise for pregnancy resource centers, build up a culture of life, and encourage young people to be strong in their faith and zealous in their service to the preborn.
If you would like to learn more about this incredible organization, are interested in applying to be a missionary, or would like to donate to the mission, you can do so at www.bikingforbabies.com. This organization has changed my life for the better — let them do the same for you.