Anyway, for those not familiar with the ride, a designated rider is someone who rides a bicycle for one-hundred miles for your missing loved one on the family's behalf. Some family members choose to participate at the ride as a volunteer, ride in the family van, or in a more discreet way behind the scenes. Regardless of how one chooses to participate, their missing child (actual child, brother, sister, niece/nephew, cousin, grandchild) are honored with one designated individual riding on their behalf. The missing child's photo button is worn by other riders but one is selected as the family's rider for the day. It is such an honor and joy to meet our riders each year, and get to know them better.
This year was no exception. Kristie joined us for the family's dinner and we shared before, during, and after dinner. It was neat to see the way God orchestrated our meeting and the insight she offered to us on things unrelated to the ride, yet important with a future college student researching and inquiring. We said goodbye and looked forward to seeing her in the morning. Once at the ride on Friday morning, we exchanged a few more hugs and prayed for her before the day's trek.
God is so good. Due to the terrible weather, Kristie was in a minor accident with another cyclist during the ride. It was unavoidable yet her words to us when we saw her, reminded me of how faithful God is when we ask. She said, "I knew you were praying and it was only because of the prayers we (the other rider) were not seriously injured." You see, her foot clip (shoe clip?, can't remember the name) came un-clipped when she started to fall. This is not supposed to happen she said but she told me it was the only reason it wasn't a terrible experience. We were able to see God's hand of protection as He lifted the other rider over her and separated her from the bike to prevent serious injury. Both stood and were able to finish the ride on Friday. This is one reason we pray for our riders each year.
At this point, neither Ed, Mary, or myself have participated in the ride as a rider. I've been blessed with the opportunity to speak at the family's dinner, opening ceremonies, and closing ceremonies but I've yet to venture onto the bike for one-hundred miles. My cousins, Kaziah and Sabrina have wore the jersey and joined the riders and it was exciting to cheer them on and at the closing. Maybe, one day, we'll get on a bike. For now, we honor and remember Heidi, and encourage the riders, in different ways...using the gifts God has given us. We are thankful for the different venues available to the families so everyone feels like they are a part and have a role, after all...we're all connected.
Below are pictures of past designated riders. These individuals do something we can't do at this point...ride for Heidi. This means so much to us. To all the riders wearing the pins of a missing child, please know you are prayed for and counted as blessings. As I scan the pictures from the rides, I always look for a button of my sister. If I see her face, I tag either myself or my Where's Heidi? Facebook page so others will know...she is never forgotten.
NEVER underestimate the magnitude of what you are doing in life, regardless of how small you think it might be...to someone else, it might mean the world. Thank you!
Although someone rode for Heidi Allen in 2012, only our thoughts and prayers were with you in 2012 because Mary & I were in Boston for her 8th grade Band Competition and Field Trip. There was a bike ride through Boston the day we toured and we cheered for them like crazy, I'm sure the tour guide was thinking..."Tourist!" , little did he know we were missing "The" ride back in New York. Actually, we told him all about it while we quacked at people on our Duck Tour. LOL
Not due to a lack of effort but I couldn't find pictures of our designated riders for 2009 or 2007. My apologies to my riders for those years, if you have a picture of us, I'd love to have one for our file and to keep the memory. I don't have to share it on the blog but would love to have it in our collection. Thank you all for riding for those who cant, may you be blessed in return.